Athletics News

GW Basketball to Report for Duty at Fort Myer on October 12

Sept. 11, 2012

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WASHINGTON - The George Washington University Men's and Women's Basketball teams proudly announced that the annual Colonials Invasion season tip-off event will be held in 2012 at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in nearby Fort Myer, Va.

"It will be our true honor to conduct this annual event at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall," said Director of Athletics and Recreation Patrick Nero. "The men and women who serve our country are our heroes, and at George Washington we want to continue to show our admiration and respect for our servicemen, servicewomen, veterans and their families. This is a way for us to bring this fun event to them, while paying homage to our history at Fort Myer as well."

The men's basketball program can officially begin practice on October 12th this season, and the annual Colonials Invasion extravaganza serves as the season opening celebration and introduction of GW's basketball teams.

GW Athletics and Recreation is planning Colonials Invasion in coordination with GW's Student Association, Program Board, Colonial Army, Student-Athlete Advisory Council, GW Student Veterans, Center for Student Engagement, Colonial Brass and the Spirit teams.

Transportation to and from the event will be provided from the Charles E. Smith Center - following GW volleyball's match against La Salle - and Conmy Hall, and free parking is available on base beyond a security checkpoint for anyone who chooses to drive.

Please be advised that while this is a free event, tickets need to be obtained in advance to gain access to the base. Admittance to the base will not be granted to any patrons without a proper ticket or credential, and no on-site ticketing or credentialing will occur.

Remaining complimentary tickets can be picked up at the Charles E. Smith Center box office through the end of GW volleyball's home match against La Salle on Friday evening. As with any ticketed event, space is limited and free tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

This season, as part of the George Washington University's proud commitment to supporting the military, Colonials Invasion will be held at Fort Myer's Conmy Hall, where the GW men called home from 1956-75. Built in 1934 as an indoor equestrian facility, the venerable Conmy Hall hosted George Washington Athletic Hall of Famers Leslie Anderson, Mike Battle, Jon Feldman, John Holloran, Joe Holup, Joe Lalli, Ronnie Nunn, Walt Szczerbiak, Bob Tallent, Mike Tallent and Pat Tallent during their GW careers.

"There has been a legacy of support for veterans from the university, a long lasting tradition dating back to the acceptance of the first GI Bill after World War II, and I'm delighted that the Department of Athletics and Recreation has chosen this unique way to continue that tradition," said President of the GW Veterans Student Organization Tommy Davis. "It's a special feeling to have the entire university firmly behind the proud men and women of our military."

Fort Myer, Virginia, traces its origin as a military post to the Civil War. Since then it has been an important Signal Corps post, a showcase for Army cavalry. The home of Army chiefs of staff, including Generals George C. Marshall and Dwight D. Eisenhower, Fort Myer was also where the first military test flight of an aircraft was made on Sept. 9, 1908, when Orville Wright kept one of his planes in the air for a minute and 11 seconds.

"My father was in the service, so my first Colonials Invasion to tip-off my GW career will be extra special," noted freshman Joe McDonald, a 2012 First Team Washington Post All-Met honoree. "We had the opportunity to visit two military bases on our trip to Italy, and it's been a great way for us all to learn about respect, selflessness and dedication by honoring our military and veterans."

George Washington's men's basketball team recently visited CNIC/Naval Support Activity in Naples, Italy and US Army base Camp Darby near the Italian city of Livorno as part of a tour through the country that included five games, two of which were against the base teams at each instillation.

"We're beginning a new era of women's basketball at George Washington under Coach Jonathan Tsipis," said graduate student Tara Booker. "Having Colonials Invasion on a military base this season serves as a perfect reminder of the great opportunity we have as student-athletes to represent more than just ourselves."

One of the first universities in the country to sign a pledge to provide resources, programs and policies that further its support of student veterans on campus, GW is part of a campaign to support veterans through jobs, education, housing, health, family and leadership. The university has earned accolades for its commitment to veterans, including being named a top "military friendly" school by GI Jobs magazine, and ranking 16th (second among private schools) in the Military Times' "Best for Vets" college ranking. As the first university to accept the original GI Bill for veterans, the George Washington University has fully covered tuition for undergraduate student-veterans in the Yellow Ribbon Program since 2009. This year, more than 900 student-veterans are enrolled at GW.

"It's going to be an amazing night at Fort Myer during this year's Colonials Invasion," said Trevor Rockhill, president of the GW student fan group Colonial Army. "Taking the event off-campus to a military base where GW used to play brings a new level of excitement to the season as we not only have a promising season to look forward to, but can learn about GW's rich history as well."

The men's basketball team, under the guidance of second-year head coach Mike Lonergan, features a heralded class of five freshmen - Washington Post First Team All-Met guards Joe McDonald and Kethan Savage, swingman Patricio Garino and posts Kevin Larsen and Paris Maragkos - and fellow newcomer Isaiah Armwood, a transfer from Villanova, along with a strong mix of upperclassmen including seniors Bryan Bynes, Lasan Kromah, David Pellom and Dwayne Smith, junior Nemanja Mikic, and sophomores John Kopriva and Jonathan Davis.

The women's squad, under the direction of first-year head coach Jonathan Tsipis, who came to George Washington following back-to-back NCAA Championship Game appearances as Associate Head Coach at Notre Dame, will be led by graduate students Tara Booker, Sara Mostafa and Brooke Wilson. Danni Jackson, Megan Nipe and Shi-Heria Shipp are back for their senior campaigns, and will be complemented by sophomores Chakecia Miller and Bria Bourgeois along with freshmen Dalacy Anderson, Aaliyah Brown, Alexis Chandler and Anjaleace White.