Team USA Basketball is currently in Washington, D.C., readying for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and held a select practice for service men and women of the U.S. military and their families on Saturday afternoon. Among the roster, Oklahoma City's Russel Westbrook commented on playing for the troops:
"Its great," said Russell Westbrook. "It’s a great experience to be able to come in and to play in front of the troops. They have done so much for our country and they still do."
In addition to an exclusive all-access look at Team USA's practices, the daughters of the military families in attendance received an exclusive basketball clinic from the womens' national team, featuring head coach Geno Auriemma and players such as Seimone Augustus, Swin Cash, Maya Moore and Candace Parker.
"This is a huge event," said Mike Krzyzewksi, USA and Duke University Hall of Fame head coach. "We invited the chairs of the joint chiefs out for dinner last night with our staff, and so we had a great meal and we shared our thanks. I'm very close friends with Marty Dempsey. Even during this past Duke season, he was at one of our home games and afterwards we met with the NBA to try to help orchestrate today. Today has been in the works for a few months, and I thought it was beautifully done by Nike, the NBA, USA Basketball and of course our military. The exchange of the flags from the people who are actually serving our country on a day to day basis. We were talking about last night, and we thought it was the single biggest gesture that they could give us, in support of us. Taking them, accepting them would be in honor of them. Today was a special day."
Check out an official photo gallery of the practice, as well as Team USA members meeting the military, over at the official Team USA Basketball page.