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NEWS | Sept. 3, 2015

Army Reserve soldiers take on Navy in exhibition basketball game

By Spc. David Lietz 85th Support Command

Military families, friends and local spectators gathered together, on Sunday, August 30, to support a ‘Hoops For Troops’ exhibition basketball game between the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy at the Allstate Arena in the northwest Chicago suburbs.

The event, hosted by Support All Veterans Equally Foundation and the WNBA’s Chicago Sky basketball team, was part of a pre-game event leading up to the Sky’s evening game against the Connecticut Sun.

The purpose of the event was to celebrate military personnel and their families.

The teams played two 20-minute halves. The first half started out at a fast pace.

“I think the first half we were still trying to get a feel for each other. The second half we started to mesh better together,” explained Spc. Vincent Grider. “The Navy played a good game throughout. They just came out with aggression. That’s what the game came down to – intensity.”

Grider’s teammate, Spc. Kevin Riddick, said he enjoyed playing the Navy. 

“We did all right. -- Everybody had fun,” said Riddick.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael Wade, 85th Support Command property book officer, was amongst the audience there enjoying the afternoon game, and was optimistic about next year’s chances when the Army and Navy meet again on the hard court.

“The Army represented really well. Next year we’ll come back and get them,” said Wade.

Sgt. 1st Class William Keys, the Army team’s head coach, explained that this was a second year for their Army team playing the Navy at this event; and that there was friendly banter between the teams.

“The Army came out on the short end, but we’re (tied up) one and one (now),” said Keys. “We’re looking forward to next year’s game.”

The game ended with the Navy leading in a final score of 44-22.