If Soldiers are competitive in their professional lives, then imagine the scene during a unit level intramural basketball, Jan. 9, at the Ritz-Epps Physical Fitness Center.

There were a lot of second shot attempts, outside three pointers, fast-break layups and strong defense during a match between the 82nd Airborne Division Devils and the 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment OTNs, or Own the Night players.

Its a team effort. Were playing good defense, said Will Comes, an OTN team member.

But not to be outdone, Victor Lugo, a guard with the Devils, seemed to strategize a win for his team.

I feel we can still pull it off if we start making shots and getting our defense to move the ball around, said Lugo, a 10-year veteran, and a Cleveland native.

The Devils mounted a good effort though OTN won 52-28.

Intramural basketball is not solely about competition. It also provides a way of building cohesion among Soldiers within the same unit.

Playing ball relieves stress. It builds esprit de corps and morale, said Marcus Haddix who plays small forward with the Devils.

The basketball competition allows infantry Soldiers to get to know each other away from the field and it is good camaraderie, Comes said.

It takes away a lot of stress, he added.

Sam Aveau has served for two years and is assigned to the 325th AIR. The Kentucky native said he also understands the benefits of recreation among servicemembers.

Its fun and its a good way for everybody to get together and get outside of work and have some fun, Aveau said.

According to Harold Stallworth, a sports specialist with the sports office, 60 teams are taking part in the unit level intramural basketball program, which is projected to continue until mid-March, at which time champions and runners-ups will receive awards.

Stallworth, who is an Army veteran, knows the importance of having recreation outside of work.

Its a stress reliever, he said. A lot of them (Soldiers) love the competition. It builds morale and its something to do.

For more information on sports and fitness, or recreation opportunities on Fort Bragg, visit www.fortbraggmwr.com or like them on Facebook.

Some upcoming scheduled events include:

Combat Cross Country Meet, Feb. 2, 8 a.m., at Smith Lake

Big Game Party (Super Bowl), Feb. 3, 6 p.m., at Sports USA.