Marines shoot from the 3-point line at 2007 CIAA Tournament
By Sgt. Brian J. Griffin
| Marine Corps Recruiting Command | March 15, 2007
CHARLOTTE, N.C. --
Marking up another successful year at the 62nd Annual Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) tournament, the Marine Corps embraced the opportunity to spread its message of opportunity and leadership to more than 125,000 of young men and women Feb. 26 through March 3, 2007, here.
Established in 1912, the CIAA is the nation's oldest black athletic conference. This is the sixth consecutive year the Marine Corps has participated in the event featuring eleven historically black institutes of higher learning, consisting of: Bowie State University, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, Johnson C. Smith University, Livingstone College, North Carolina Central University, St. Augustine's College, St. Paul's College, Shaw University, Virginia State University and Virginia Union University.
In an effort to ensure the Marine Corps’ message of opportunity was delivered, more than 30 Marines from across the East Coast engaged those present at the tournament. Their activities included manning two interactive marketing booths, attending high-profile luncheons, participating in question and answer sessions with students and spectators, and hosting an information booth at High School Day Feb. 28.
The Marine Corps also honored student athletes during on-court ceremonies, presenting them with an Excellence in Leadership award recognizing them for their display of excellence through teamwork, discipline, courage, and leadership.
“Our involvement in the CIAA tournament provides us an opportunity to recognize and celebrate young people who display leadership qualities through their commitment to hard work in school as well as in their extracurricular activities,” said Brigadier General Ronald Bailey, Deputy Director for Operations, J-3 (NMCC-3), Joint Staff.
One of the Marines’ marketing booths was located at the Charlotte Convention Center, which boasted a 100,000 square-foot fan festival, and the other booth was at Bobcat’s Arena. Both booths featured a pull-up challenge and offered promotional items including t-shirts, hats, carabineer key chains, posters, drawstring gym bags, and key chain lanyards.
“It was a great opportunity to interact with everyone there, enabling us to showcase the Marine Corps as the service of choice among potential applicants,” said Captain Paul Ovalle, program/liaison officer, Manpower and Reserve Affairs. “We were able to talk to many individuals who were interested in the many opportunities in the Marine Corps and discuss the many positive role models currently serving in today’s Marine Corps.”
Ovalle continued by saying he was ‘able to discuss on-going efforts in the Marine Corps regarding diversity and the many positive role models currently serving - particularly Lieutenant Gen. Ronald Coleman.’
Lieutenant Gen. Coleman recently made Marine Corps history, being the second black Marine to reach the rank of lieutenant general in the Marine Corps.
"We honor the hard work and commitment exhibited by the men and women representing their schools at this year's CIAA tournament," said Lt. Gen. Coleman, Deputy Commandant for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. "This event consistently shares the proud heritage of leadership, which is at the center of the Marine Corps' tradition of excellence."
According to Eric Lindsay, diversity coordinator for the Marine Corps Recruiting Command, Lt. Gen. Coleman attended the tournament as a proof source of what can be accomplished—if you put your mind to it.
“CIAA is another great opportunity for the Marine Corps to generate awareness for the opportunities available in the Marine Corps,” Lindsay said. “This event gives direct contact with the public in all areas of recruiting--influencers, and prospects for both enlisted and officer programs.”
During the six day event more than 145,000 fans converged on the Charlotte Convention Center and Bobcat’s Arena. The Marine Corps was very involved with the week-long event and was seen at all activities.
However, one of the many highlights of the event was the opening ceremony of the final game where a court-sized American Flag was unfurled by Marines and Sailors stationed in the Charlotte area.
To learn more about the opportunities offered by the Marine Corps, visit www.Marines.com or www.MarineOfficer.com