Every weekday night from 6 to 9 p.m., between January and March, the courts light up for Fort Bragg’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR) Unit Level Basketball Leagues.
Active duty military personnel showcase their handles and jump shots after-hours on the courts of on-post physical fitness centers (PFC) such as Pope, Hosking, Funk and Ritz-Epps.
On the evening of Feb. 11, Pope welcomed the 21st Military Police Company (Airborne) and the 43rd Air Mobility Squadron (AMS) unit teams for a court side contest.
The 43rd AMS stepped in to challenge the 21st MP Co., after the team who was scheduled to play the MP’s, had to cancel for a night jump training exercise. Both teams battled back and forth to keep the game tight.
At the half, the teams were tied at 33 apiece. However, the 43rd AMS pulled ahead in the last half to win 61-52.
“Each gym runs their own leagues and players take a lot of pride in their games. Tonight we have a 6:15 (p.m.), 7:15 (p.m.) and 8:15 (p.m.) game,” said Art Rimbert, sports specialist for FMWR Recreation Division.
Intramural leagues such as these hold immense value. With the overarching mission to honor and serve the military and foster well-rounded Soldiers both on and off the court, these programs equip the participants with mental and physical wellness.
“The FMWR Unit Level Basketball Leagues warrant unit fellowship, conditioning athletes with lifelong lessons through victory and defeat and personal growth,” said Rimbert. They provide an avenue for the continued development and discipline in the areas of readiness, camaraderie, trust, leadership and teamwork within their units and the broader military community.
“Teams are working towards Feb. 26, which is the start of the league tournament, a single elimination series. All league teams will play,” said Rimbert.
He added, the last two nights determine who advances to the post tournament where each league plays one another.
“We will be utilizing Hosking PFC and Hercules PFC for the post basketball tournament, starting Tuesday, March 12 through March 19,” said Harold Stallworth, sports specialist, FMWR Recreation Division.