Basketball team visits Ft. Riley


    Coach Frank Martin and his basketball team woke up bright and early Thursday morning for a day of remembrance and learning at Fort Riley.
    After arriving on base a little after 7 a.m., the team took part in the Sept. 11 anniversary ceremony and later tried on soldier uniforms, experienced what a deployed soldier would with combat simulators and ended the day with a tour of several facilities, including Victory Park, which is dedicated to the First Infantry Division, more commonly known as the Big Red One.
    Coach Martin said he organized the event so his players could understand the rigor and stress of a soldier’s life and also give them a different perspective for their own problems.
    “They formed a relationship with young men their age who are getting ready to get deployed, and they are going to a foreign land and won’t know whether their next step is going to be their last step,” he said. “I wanted them to understand that.”
    Martin said the experience was humbling to many of his players.
    “And after going through it, I think they were just amazed as to what the life of a soldier is all about and what they experience,” he said.
    This was the first year the team has visited Fort Riley, but Martin said he has wanted to take his players there since he came to K-State in 2006.
    “It’s something I’ve been meaning to instill since I got hired but just at first didn’t know the news of how to do it and just didn’t have much time to sit back and figure out how to organize it,” he said.