Izzo To Return To Kuwait For Operation Hardwood II

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Izzo To Return To Kuwait For Operation Hardwood II

Trip to take place May 23-29.

 EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Last August, Michigan State men’s basketball coach led Camp Arifjan to a championship in the eight-team Operation Hardwood basketball tournament in Kuwait. Upon his return to Michigan State, he described the trip as a "life-changing experience," having had the opportunity to really witness the daily life of the men and women of the United States armed forces on Camp Arifjan. This May, Izzo will return to Kuwait as part of Operation Hardwood II.

Last August, Michigan State men’s basketball coach led Camp Arifjan to a championship in the eight-team Operation Hardwood basketball tournament in Kuwait. Upon his return to Michigan State, he described the trip as a "life-changing experience," having had the opportunity to really witness the daily life of the men and women of the United States armed forces on Camp Arifjan. This May, Izzo will return to Kuwait as part of Operation Hardwood II.

Izzo is one of six coaches, including Alabama’s Mark Gottfried, South Carolina’s Dave Odom, Charlotte’s Bobby Lutz, Indiana’s Kelvin Sampson and ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas, returning after taking part in "Operation Hardwood - Hoops With The Troops" last August. They are joined for the second tour by Texas’ Rick Barnes, U.S. Military Academy’s Jim Crews, U.S. Naval Academy’s Billy Lange, Kentucky’s Tubby Smith, Maryland’s Gary Williams and Reggie Minton from the NABC. Fox Sports broadcaster Leeann Tweeden is accompanying the tour participants on her 8th United Service Organization (USO)/Armed Forces Entertainment (AFE) tour.

"Last year’s trip to Kuwait was such an unbelievable experience that I’m very excited to have the opportunity to return," said Izzo. "My first trip was eye-opening in many different ways and cemented the tremendous respect I have for the men and women of the United States armed forces. It’s great any time you can have an event where everyone benefits. The troops repeatedly told us how much they appreciated our time and how much they enjoyed the event, but it was us as coaches that left feeling as though we received much more than we gave. I look forward to experiencing that again along with many new things. The fact that six coaches are returning is proof that Operation Hardwood is truly a life-changing event, plus I’m excited that we’ve been able to add coaches from both Army and Navy and some of the top coaches in basketball today like Rick Barnes, Tubby Smith and Gary Williams."

This tour continues the USO tradition of bringing professional athletes and sports-related events to troops serving far from home. Last year, NBA Legends Artis Gilmore and Darryl Dawkins visited military personnel serving in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Gilmore, Gail Goodrich, Spencer Haywood and Dan Roundfield also brought the Larry O’Brien Trophy to Troops in Kuwait last May. NBA Legends and players soon will begin a stateside USO tour, visiting military bases and holding festivals for service members and their families. Tours are sponsored by AT&T, Inc., the official telecommunications sponsor of USO entertainment tours.

For 65 years, the USO has been providing morale, welfare and recreational services to U.S. military personnel and their families. The USO is a nonprofit, charitable organization, relying on the generosity of the American people to support its programs and services.

 

Courtesy of MSU SID.