The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Fort Campbell recently partnered with Austin Peay State University to host the first college basketball game on the military installation.
The NCAA Division 1 APSU Governors faced off against the Bethel University Wildcats in Fort Campbell’s Shaw Physical Fitness Center.
The Shaw Center was set up to accommodate as many as 1,400 fans, and the best part, it was free for APSU fans and students as well as service members and their families. Commemorative T-shirts were given away on a first-come first-served basis.
Both teams, their coaching staffs and fans were greeted at the Shaw Center entry by 101st soldiers in full tactical gear. They were also allowed to check out some of the high-speed combat vehicles used by the 101st.
The Governors play was a bit flat in the first half, but a strong second half surge, ending with a 40 – 12 run, led them to a 90 – 58 victory over the Wildcats.
Col. Derek Thomson talked about the event. “This meant the world to us,” Thomson said. “Athletic competition goes hand-in-glove with military combat. We point to athletic competition as a way to hone our fighting edge, and that’s what makes this relationship so strong. This partnership is great for our soldiers – to see this kind of competition live, and it feeds that fighting spirit.”
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