News: Women's Basketball Coaches Get a Taste of Boot Camp Courtesy of Marines
Story by Lance Cpl. Jessica Quezada
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - As the Chief Executive Officer of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, Beth Bass is used to calling the shots and running drills.
The Marines present for the WBCA 2014 National Convention in Nashville have something else in mind.
Drill instructors led a morning workout with coaches from high schools to collegiate programs of all divisions to get a glimpse of Marine Corps leadership and physical fitness. The high-intensity workout weaved core values of honor, courage and commitment with side-straddle hops, sprints and lots of yelling. Marine participants included drill instructors from Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Va., recruiters from the Nashville area and former members of the All-Marine women’s basketball team.
“I thought it was absolutely incredible,” said Bass, the Hartsville, South Carolina native. “When you’re getting yelled at it’s pretty authentic…they started yelling at me and it took me back to playing with a really disciplined coach…you didn’t know what to expect, but it was authentic…we’re so glad of our relationship with the Marines, the camaraderie and the goals that we share are universal and we’re trying to build strong young women to be better global leaders and citizens.
The Marines are participating in the WBCA’s annual convention, timed to coincide with the women’s Final Four basketball tournament, as part of a partnership aimed at educating athletes and coaches about Marine Corps opportunities and principles. More than 2,000 WBCA members from across the nation are attending this year’s event at Nashville’s Omni Hotel and Music City Center. Marines set up a booth at the coaches expo to sign up coaches and their teams for a free leadership and physical fitness seminar, similar to the morning’s workout.
“It was awesome being able to work with the Marines hands on,” said Queens, New York native, Cheyenne Parker. “The overall experience was fun…and talking about leadership is really important for athletes all the way around, not just basketball.”
Marines are also contributing to leadership panels with WBCA members and prospective coaches detailing military life and leadership and the relation to athletic competition. Nashville Marines will provide the ceremonial flag detail for the women’s Final Four Semifinals at Bridgestone Arena, 6 April. Major General Mark Brilakis, commanding general of Marine Corps Recruiting Command, and Brigadier General Lori Reynolds, commanding general of Eastern Recruiting Region and Marine Corps Depot Parris Island are scheduled to attend the convention and address the association. Brilakis will present the WBCA Division I Defensive Player of the Year award at the annual WBCA awards show on Monday.
The convention is scheduled to conclude 8 April after the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship.
For more information visit wbca.org