Owls play for U.S. military on base in Italy
by MDJ staff reports
August 09, 2014 12:10 AM | 1477 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kennesaw State men’s basketball coach Jimmy Lallathin, right, presents an autographed basketball to the coach of the soldiers’ team at Del Din on Friday.
<Br>Photo special to the MDJ
Kennesaw State men’s basketball coach Jimmy Lallathin, right, presents an autographed basketball to the coach of the soldiers’ team at Del Din on Friday.
Photo special to the MDJ
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The Kennesaw State men’s basketball team, in the midst of playing four exhibition games over a 10-day span in Italy, played in the first competitive basketball game at Del Din, a U.S. Army base in the city of Vicenza.

Del Din houses an estimated 4,000 American soldiers and their families, including hundreds from Georgia and one Kennesaw State graduate, according to a university release.

The Owls fared well in an exhibition against a team of Vicenza all-stars.

“It makes us feel at home,” Spec. Linda Burkett, a member of the program that helped organize the event, said in the release. “With the time difference between Italy and the U.S., it’s really hard for us to watch live sporting events, so this is something special. We all think it’s amazing people come all this way to support us and it’s definitely appreciated.”

Delbert Love, Yonel Brown, Bernard Morena, Nate Rucker and Orlando Coleman started the game, making their way out to a hometown welcome more than 2,000 miles away from Kennesaw.

Soldiers and their families sat shoulder-to-shoulder, three rows deep on the bleachers of the newly constructed gymnasium.

“We’re excited to represent ourselves, our university and our country in getting to play the game we love at a place like this,” Kennesaw State coach Jimmy Lallathin said. “It’s the most worthwhile experience I think we’ve all had at playing this game. To play on Del Din, in front of the soldiers who sacrifice so much for us, and to be the first to do it, is just an honor and a privilege.”

After playing the Vicenza team, the Owls faced a team from the base for a 30-minute game.

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