The Armed Forces Basketball Championship kicked off at 1:00 p.m. at the Paige Fieldhouse, Nov. 7.
Over the next week, 72 service members from the All Marine, Navy,
Army and Air Force basketball teams will compete in the inter-service
challenge to determine who will walk away with a new trophy, bragging
rights and the chance to compete on the international level at the Du
Sport Militaire Championship in Belgium.
“This is an opportunity for service members to build camaraderie
across all the military branches,” said Theresa Flores, director of the
Not only does the tournament build inter-service camaraderie, it
provides an outlet for individual members to play a sport they are
“Being able to play against top-of-the-line competitors from
different military branches and different walks of life is an honor,”
said Alyssa Aitken, forward for the Army Women’s team.
Many of the athletes competing have played basketball for the majority of their lives.
“We have the best players from each branch playing on the same
court,” said Chris Reighard, who will alternate between forward and
center for the Marine Corps Men’s team. “The high level of competition
here will provide the best athletes with an outlet to become even
The players have practiced twice a day for approximately two weeks to
earn a spot on their respective team. An all-star team will be
selected by the Armed Forces Committee at the conclusion of the contest,
to represent the United States military in Belgium.
“Basketball is non-stop,” said Reighard, who has played the sport for 20 years. “For the love of the game we keep playing.”
The Air Force faces off against the Navy after the opening ceremony,
and when both the men and women’s team conclude their games, the Army
will face the Marine Corps.
The next seven days will be a round robin-tournament, where every
team plays each other twice. The top two teams will play in the
championship games on Nov. 13.
The games begin at 1:00 p.m. each day until the end of the tournament.
For more information and to keep up with each team’s progress in
real-time, visit the Marine Corps Community Services athletics webpage