The buzz surrounding the U.S. men's basketball team headed to London for the Summer Olympics has been hard to miss, and some military families recently got a front row preview of the talented squad. The team held an open practice for military personnel from the D.C. Armory and it was unlike any other practice, The Associated Press reports.
The scene resembled more of a pep rally than an actual tuneup for the Olympics. There were dancers, mascots and the event was emceed by ESPN analyst and former college basketball star Jay Bilas. Putting on such a show for military families was important for the team's coach, Mike Krzyzewski, who both played and coached at Army.
"I think he understands it on a level that many of us can’t because of the time he spent in and around the military, and how much not only knows it but feels it," Bilas told the AP.
The sentiment was one shared by all the players, including New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, who mentioned the atmosphere was truly one-of-a-kind. Anthony, along with the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul, open up their Olympic schedule on July 29 against France.