Basketball player turned Marine embraces both at same time
| August 29, 2012
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — For some, basketball may be just another sport, but for others it is more than just a game.
Pfc. Eddy D. TineoMateo, an administrative specialist with Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, has always played the sport he’s now come to know and love.
The 19-year-old Staten Island, N.Y., native has had a long road to this point in his life. While he was still just an infant his parents relocated to the Dominican Republic, where he would live for the majority of his life.
“I moved to [Dominican Republic] and everyone plays baseball out there,” TineoMateo explained. “I wanted to be different. I wanted to be good at another sport.”
And so he did. TineoMateo began playing basketball when he started the eighth grade. He hasn’t looked back since.
“I starting playing for Adotalents,” TineoMateo said. “We had a team with some of the kids from our neighborhood and we did great.”
The Adotalents, better known as the Dominican Association for Talent, sponsored a youth group, which sponsored traveling teams.
After 16 years on the small Caribbean island, TineoMateo moved back to the U.S. where he played competitively in high school, until an injury to his ankle kept him from playing.
Once he moved on from that part of his life, TineoMateo decided to follow in his parents footsteps and join the military, but just joining wasn’t enough.
“My mother is a lieutenant colonel in the military in the Dominican Republic,” TineoMateo said. “My dad is a retired pilot, so I had to one up them.”
TineoMateo joined the Marine Corps after graduating high school, a decision that he’s quite pleased with.
“It was a great thing to do,” he said. “Both of my parents served their country, so I wanted to serve mine. I haven’t had much time to play basketball, but I still get around to it.”
TineoMateo recently participated in the Red Bull King of the Rock tournament held here, July 18. He made it to the Elite Eight but fell just short after losing a tough game to the eventual tournament champion.
“I haven’t consistently played since joining the Marine Corps, so I’m proud,” TineoMateo said. “You don’t want to leave with a loss, but I made it pretty far and I can build on this. I’ll be back and better next time.”