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For the second time, I found myself dealing with military basketball in France.
The first International Championship of military basketball for female for female basketball just took place in my former neighborhood in Angers, Trézalé, in the west of France. Our national team hosted 6 nations, USA, China, Lithuania, Sri Lanka, Germany and Brazil spent the whole week fighting on a basketball court, representing their flag. Initiated one year ago by the tournament in Meyenheim, military female basketball is now officially back on the international sport scene.
And, when one mentions international championship, one implies high level of games right. Yet, serious gaps in level among the different teams showed up pretty soon… For example, during the qualifications, China demonstrated its skills by winning 119 to 51 against Lithuania and France scored 126 vs 30 points against Sri Lanka.
But some other games had been very tight, and offered a great show to the numerous public who came to cheer their French team up while assisting to the amazing rise of the Brazilians, undefeated and winner of the event.
After their victory over USA last year, Brazilians managed to retain their title by beating China 87-86. Such a very intense final! And what a game for MARTIN DA! Saying that the #5 of the seleçao, realized a great game would even be an understatement: 36 points scored, 6 rebounds, 4 interceptions and 4 assists, for a total personal evaluation of 39!!! She clearly deserved her MVP title, did not she?!
Eventually, the public of Angers and Trélazé had the opportunity to discover the high level of female basketball, in its military version. If it is breaking news for some, it is more a confirmation to me. Once again, beyond the competition, it’s definitely about “Friendship through sport”, the motto of the International Military Sports Council (CISM) has never been that appropriate. Indeed, on and outside of the court, you witness different nations united as one, celebrating together, showing support through the good and the bad. Trust me, we assisted to a genuine demonstration of solidarity, the type of one capable of erasing any borders, geographical and cultural. As this is the spirit of collective sport, and what the armed forces are about, so from the battle field to the playing field, the fight may be different, but fueled by the same desire to win and the same love for the flag.
For now, the 1st International Championship of military basketball for female is over, and every team is on its way back home. But, the second edition will take place next summer in California. So, save the date, and don’t forget to cheer the male basketball teams up in September during the World Military Games in Korea!
But I will tell you more about this later….