May 28, 2007
Kuwait City, Kuwait – Today was our final day in Kuwait and it was all about hoops. It was a quick day because after the games we pretty much had to get showered and ready for the trip back to Dulles airport.
We won our first game in the consolation bracket against Fran Fraschilla’s team by 10 points and played really well. In the championship game we lost again to Skip Prosser team, this time by 10 points. It was a great game and the place was going wild. What an awesome atmosphere. All of the coaches came out in full military dress and what a powerful feeling that was for me and everyone else.
In between today’s game, we met with a three-star general. That was a real powerful moment and certainly something that I won’t forget.
After the game each coach addressed the troops. We all said a few words and my message and I basically told that that “first of all it was an hour to be here with them in Kuwait and that I appreciated them having our backs and that when you come back to the States, we’ll have your backs.”
This has really been a remarkable week for me and when I get home on Monday, the first thing I am going to do is go out for pizza with my family and share with them my experiences over here.
Over the course of the last week being around these 20-year-old men, I couldn’t help by think of my own son Kyle. I thought about him 10 times a day. It’s been a real reality check and I wish that more people had the opportunity to come over here and see what these young men are going through and the challenges that they have to endure.
The 120-degree heat has been debilitating. Right now, I’m ready for a cold November day in South Bend!
What an experience this has been for me and the other coaches. It’s something I’ll not soon forget. I certainly have a greater appreciation for the military efforts of our troops. I’m anxious to get home to see my family and share the experiences of the past week with them.
I want to thank all of you for sharing in the past week with me and ready my exploits. It’s been my pleasure and honor to those who have shared this very special visit to Kuwait with all of you.