JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Sept. 19, 2014) – The ETSU men’s basketball team went through team-bonding drills this week as the Bucs joined forces to compete in the Eddie Reed Ranger challenge with the ETSU ROTC program.
ETSU players, coaches and support staff met with the Ranger team this past Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings to go through workout sessions, which lasted an hour and a half beginning at 6 a.m. each day.
“A few weeks ago, coach Bartow and his staff came to us seeing if we could put together a training program for the team,” said Master Sergeant Gus Reiley. “We came up with a plan, ran it by the coaches and they loved it, so this is why we were out here this week. Our main goal was to build team cohesiveness and at the same time build some mental toughness. These were the goals the coaches wanted us to focus on.”
As for coach Bartow, the workouts were designed to build toughness, which is something he hopes the team carries with them throughout the entire year.
“Everything we did this week was helping us build towards March 9 when the conference championship is,” said head coach Murry Bartow. “We were trying to build team chemistry and toughness, and all the things needed to become a better team. We’ve seen other teams do similar programs, so we met with our ROTC group to see if they could help build a program for us. Our ROTC Department did a great job building a program to help us prepare as we move forward with our season. This week has been a great experience for all of us.”
The players also bought into the program and saw the importance of the training.
“The past three days have been good for our team,” said senior guard Jalen Riley. “The workouts were hard, and they pushed us physically and mentally, but it was a great team-bonding experience.”
“This was an unbelievable experience,” said senior guard Rashawn Rembert. “I want to thank the ROTC for putting in all the effort to help us. It was great to learn from the best leaders in our country. This will do a lot for our team moving forward.”
At the end of the week, both the Bucs and ROTC program exchanged gifts. The Bucs received ROTC battalion t-shirts, while the coaches and players gave Lieutenant Colonel Glen Howie and Master Sergeant Gus Reiley both an autographed basketball and an ETSU basketball polo shirt.
The Bucs open the season with a Blue/Gold scrimmage on Oct. 30 at Freedom Hall.
For more information on Buccaneer men’s basketball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s basketball page.