News: Marine’s skills earn honors on court
Story by Lance Cpl. Donald Peterson
OKINAWA, Japan - With time running out, a player makes a desperate shot. The buzzer sounds as the ball passes through the net, creating a swish-like sound. The feeling of making a game-winning shot is one many players dream about but rarely experience. For one Marine, however, this dream has become a reality.
Cpl. Richard A. Pollock II, a native of Omaha, Neb., was selected to the all-Marine men’s basketball team at a trial camp that took place Oct. 21 through Nov. 3 at Camp Pendleton. Pollock is a field radio operator with Combat Assault Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
“Several people attended the tryout, but only 12 were selected,” said Pollock. “It was an intense competition in everything we did, whether it was running drills or playing for practice.”
Pollock is the type of Marine that when he sets his mind on something, he will do whatever it takes to achieve it, according to Master Gunnery Sgt. Eric A. Ingerson, the operations chief for CAB.
“His level of dedication is remarkable,” said Ingerson. “All his hard work and dedication to achieve what he has, he did on his own.”
After making the all-Marine men’s basketball team, Pollock was later selected for the all-armed forces basketball team.
“You do not try out for the all-armed forces basketball team,” said Pollock. “After you make the all-Marine team, you play in a tournament in Lackland, Texas. During the tournament, you play against the other branches’ teams.
“It is a very competitive tournament, and there are many good players. If you play well in the tournament, then you will be identified as a standout player and you will be selected to the all-armed forces basketball team.”
Pollock was the only Marine selected to play on the all-armed forces basketball team.
“It was quite an honor to be considered one of the top 12 basketball players in the military,” said Pollock.
Pollock has been playing basketball for most of his life.
“I have been playing basketball since I was a child,” said Pollock. “I played in high school at Benson High School in Omaha, Neb., and I played in college at Bellevue University. After that, I played semiprofessionally in the American Basketball Association for a season with the Westchester Phantoms.”
One benefit of playing basketball is the camaraderie and those who have been a part of organized athletics understand the close relationship formed with teammates and coaches.
“Pollock’s determination and drive is what made him an outstanding player,” said Staff Sgt. Jelani A. Nix, one of Pollock’s coaches. “You could always tell he gave 110 percent at everything he did by his hard work and effort.”
Pollock takes every opportunity he gets to enjoy playing basketball because he considers it more than just a sport.
“If you are good at basketball, then it is not just a hobby anymore,” said Pollock. “It’s a way of life. You play basketball at every opportunity you have, and I will continue to play as long as possible.”