The Summer Olympics comes once every four years. Countless athletes devote their lives to making the team and competing under their nation’s flag. Achieving that goal is quite often a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Therefore, it felt appropriate to treat what happened at our Milbank Community Center this week as another once in a lifetime opportunity. USA Basketball (USAB), which runs the men’s and women’s basketball programs that go on to compete in the Olympics, chose Milbank as the place to unveil the 2016 U.S. men’s basketball team.
About 90 of our kids came to the center on a gorgeous Monday promised a basketball clinic—and they got one from the coaches USAB. For an hour they practiced drills covering every aspect of the game. Then things got interesting.
First, Mike Krzyzewski, coach of the men’s national team as well that of Duke University, showed up. He and Jay Bilas, a former NBA player and current ESPN basketball announcer, talked to the kids about how important and exciting the upcoming Olympics would be and implored the kids to support them and be part of the team.
That’s when the retractable wall went up. Standing just beyond it were all twelve members of the U.S. men’s team, some of the finest players in the NBA. To say that the kids were excited would be like saying some of the guys on the team were kind of tall. The boys and girls went wild. It was fun. It was exciting. And it was likely a day that our kids will never forget.