NBA plans expanded programs with military

NEW YORK (AP) Army graduate Mike Krzyzewski will lead a U.S. national team practice at his alma mater, and the U.S. women will train at the Naval Academy as part of an increased partnership among the NBA, USA Basketball and the Department of Defense.

The NBA and its teams will also organize job fairs and other events to support military personnel in their transition back to civilian life.

The plans were announced Friday following the completion of the NBA’s board of governors meeting. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, addressed owners at the meeting.

”What Gen. Dempsey told us was that basketball is the most popular support among his troops, and it’s also a highly popular sport among the families of the troops,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said.

The U.S. men will hold an open practice at West Point on Aug. 18. The women will practice at Navy from Sept. 7-10 as both teams prepare to defend their world titles.

Silver said the league and the Pentagon began their relationship in 2012, when both U.S. Olympic basketball teams were in Washington and visited Arlington National Cemetery. The plans announced Friday are an expansion of the league’s ”Hoops for Troops” program.

Clinics will be conducted on military bases, special events are planned around Veterans Day, and NBA and WNBA personnel will take part in several USO Tours in December.

”So it’s something we’re very proud of,” Silver said, ”and Gen. Dempsey agreed that it was so important it was worth his time to come and address our owners last night so he could talk a little bit about the program and his enthusiasm for the game.”