The Avengers soar to new heights at Camp Johnson

Faizal Sidi (left) and Shakile Pierre compete for the ball during the Camp Johnson intramural basketball game between GSS 1 and the Avengers at the Camp Johnson Gymnaiusm, Dec. 17.

Basketball season is well under way at Camp Johnson. Each week, Marines take off their uniforms and put on the proper gear to play some basketball. When Marines are done with their day in the school house, they need some sort of relaxation time. The intramural basketball league at Camp Johnson does just that for the Marines.

The responsibilities that come with being a Marine are stressful. Basketball is an outlet for the Marines at Camp Johnson to relieve that stress. They get to share some laughs, and basketball serves as a way for Marines to get away from work.

Matthew Keding, who plays for the Avengers, said it best: There is a special bond when playing basketball at Camp Johnson and representing their MOS school. It is all about pride for Marines, and these games mean something to them. This might not be the National Basketball Association, but the game results make for interesting conversation when returning to the shop the next day.

Camp Johnson basketball is all about camaraderie, and this was clear during Monday’s game between the Avengers and GSS 1. The interaction and unity of the GSS 1 players was obvious through their teamwork. It showed how close they are as Marines. Players had smiles on their faces and plotted how to take down the Avengers, though they never figured out how, as the Avengers took a 57-23 victory.

After the game, GSS 1 head coach Tyler Carmichael said that Camp Johnson basketball is a brotherhood and sisterhood. This tight-knit connection is hard to find anywhere else in the country. Even the best teams in the NBA don’t have what the Marines showed Monday night as they bonded as one unit on the basketball court.

Camp Johnson basketball isn’t just about the sport itself. It is also about respect and leadership. Joseph McElroy leads the Avengers and is a senior instructor at Camp Johnson. He appreciates when his Marines listen to what he teaches them and watches the results on the scoreboard. McElroy says some instructors are part of the team, which builds on the mutual respect between the instructors and students at Camp Johnson.

Marines have some of the most stressful jobs around. Intramural competition relieves that stress, while building unity and camaraderie. That makes it all worthwhile.