“Why We Stand”: Union Springs Girls Basketball Team Pays Tribute to Veterans in Heartfelt Ceremony

The Union Springs girls basketball team showcased their commitment to community and patriotism as they honored veterans in a touching ceremony held before their practice recently.

In a moving display of gratitude and respect, the team gathered to recognize and pay tribute to the brave men and women who have selflessly served the nation. The ceremony, organized by Head Coach Andy Kalet, took place at the Union Springs High School gymnasium, where players, coaches, spectators and veterans came together for an evening filled with heartfelt moments.

The event commenced when veterans from the local community walked into the gym in unison together and lined up opposite the girls basketball team. Everyone in the gym then watched a video from 2016 of then Virginia Tech Head Coach Buzz Williams bringing in a group of military veterans to teach his squad about the importance of standing at attention for the anthem. The team then lined up with the veterans as player Grace Baliva sang the national anthem. The players then personally thanked each veteran for their dedication and bravery.

Following the ceremony, the team engaged in a practice session infused with a renewed sense of purpose and unity. The players, inspired by the presence of the veterans, displayed exceptional teamwork and commitment on the court.

Coach Kalet expressed the team's deep gratitude, stating, "It's essential for our young athletes to understand the significance of the sacrifices made by our veterans. We wouldn’t be here playing basketball without their many sacrifices. We wanted to take a moment to show our appreciation and honor them for their service."

The Union Springs Central School District remains dedicated to fostering a sense of community and instilling a deep appreciation for the contributions of veterans. Such events not only pay tribute to our heroes but also educate the younger generation about the importance of gratitude and respect for those who have served our nation.