Two days before Coach Mike Krzyzewski celebrated his 1,000 career win with the Duke Men’s Basketball Team, one of his players committed to joining the U.S. Army after graduation.
Before practice started, junior center Marshall Plumlee participated in a contracting ceremony at Cameron Indoor Stadium in front of his teammates and coaches, Jan. 23.
He was one of the players who accompanied Krzyzewski during a visit to Fort Bragg in October 2012. Plumlee was unable to participate in the majority of team building activities during the visit, which included physical training and an obstacle course, because of a broken foot. He said he wanted to jump in there and be a part of things, though.
“It was everything that I loved and I had to sit out and watch it,” he said. “I saw my teammates crawling in the mud, climbing up ropes, going over obstacle courses and I just had to clap and watch and have my trainer yell at me if I tried to hop on something.”
Even though Plumlee was on the sidelines, he was still actively involved in what was going on. Staff Sgt. Jacob Prueitt, who helped lead the players through morning physical training said Plumlee was still engaged.
“He was on crutches and wearing a walking boot, but he was still there – he watched and observed everything that was going on,” said Prueitt.
During the visit, the players interacted with Soldiers from across Fort Bragg. They remember the players being extremely interested in the life of a Soldier.
“All of the players were extremely interested in what we did on an every-day basis,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Michael McIntosh, commandant of the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg Noncommissioned Officer Academy. “They asked what basic training was like and what a normal day was like. They seemed to appreciate the discipline that a Soldier has.”
McIntosh said that it is heartwarming to see a top-tier athlete support our nation.
“It speaks a lot of his abilities and character,” he said.
Plumlee said that he is proud to joining the Army team.
“This a tremendous honor,” Plumlee said. “I’m extremely proud to be joining the United States Army. I’m already blessed to be a part of Duke basketball, a great team, and now I’m excited to be joining another great team.”
At the ceremony, Plumlee signed his Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps contract, admitting him to the Advanced Course, and recited the enlistment oath.