GW Men's Basketball Team to Visit Two U.S. Military Bases in Italy

Sophomore John Kopriva works with youth at USA Basketball's Hoops for Troops clinic at the Charles E. Smith Center on July 15. Kopriva and GW men's basketball will visit two American military bases during its upcoming tour of Italy.

Aug. 14, 2012

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WASHINGTON - Along with visits to Rome, Florence and the Lake Como region, the George Washington men's basketball team will play five games - three against Italian competition and two against American military personnel during stops at CNIC/Naval Support Activity in Naples and Camp Darby in Livorno - as part of its 10-day tour of Italy set to begin on Thursday, Aug. 16.

"The opportunity for our student-athletes to spend time with U.S. servicemen and servicewomen abroad will be invaluable," said head coach Mike Lonergan. "The men and women that we'll be able to visit with are true heroes, and I hope our players can learn some things from them about dedication, respect and selflessness."

On August 18 - Day Four of the tour - GW will visit CNIC/Naval Support Activity in Naples, where the team will play the U.S. Navy base team followed by a lunch on the base - which is home to the United States Naval Forces Europe and the United States Sixth Fleet.

Day Six will bring the GW squad to US Army base Camp Darby to visit and compete against the base team. The military complex between Pisa and Livorno was named in memory of Brigadier General William O. Darby, who was the Assistant Division Commander of the 10th Mountain Division and was killed by enemy artillery on April 30, 1945 on the shore of Lake Garda, Italy.

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, including more than 400 who have applied to the Yellow Ribbon Program. Additionally in 2012-13, the university will provide up to $15,000 for veteran GW Law School students and $5,500 for all other veteran graduate students.



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.

GW has earned accolades for its commitment to veterans, including being named a top "military friendly" school by G.I. Jobs magazine and ranked 16 out of 100 colleges - and second for private schools - in the Military Times' "best for vets" college ranking.

Led by second-year head coach Mike Lonergan, GW men's basketball has added six newcomers - including Washington Post All-Met freshmen Joe McDonald and Kethan Savage - to a cast of seven returning letterwinners for the Colonials in 2012-13.

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