Basketball team honors alum ahead of deployment

At Penn State, every day is Military Appreciation Day. The University has many programs and services designed to make a Penn State education accessible to active-duty military and veterans, on any of our campuses and around the world through the World Campus. In addition, through its Intercollegiate Athletics teams, the University publicly recognizes and expresses appreciation to all members of our nation’s armed forces.

The largest and most visible of these events is the annual Military Appreciation football game, which is scheduled this year for Oct. 3 vs. Army. However, other teams also hold Military Appreciation Days. The baseball team is planning such an event for April 25 vs. Illinois. For tickets, visit http://www.gopsusports.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/021015aac.html online.

Charlie Kuhns fist-bumps Pat Chambers

Nittany Lion Basketball Coach Pat Chambers gives a pregame fist-bump to alumnus and Navy sailor Charlie Kuhns. (Photo: Annemarie Mountz)

Recently, Coach Pat Chambers and the men’s basketball team honored a single sailor, shortly before he deployed aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, the U.S. Navy’s largest aircraft carrier.

In advance of his deployment, Charlie Kuhns, a 2012 Penn State alumnus, was made honorary coach for the day when the team played Iowa. Petty Officer Second Class Kuhns was greeted individually by every member of the team and coaching staff, observed a pregame shoot-around, gave the team a pep-talk, took a tour of the team facilities, shared a training-table meal with the team and watched the game from a courtside seat.

“It was a pleasure to have Charlie with us. I have great admiration for him and our military, and I will keep him my prayers,” Chambers said.

During the first break in the game, PA announcer Jeff Brown acknowledged Kuhns publicly as the Jumbotron focused on him:

“Fans, we’d like to take a moment to welcome a special guest with us tonight. Charlie Kuhns, seated courtside, is a 2012 Penn State Pride of the Lions Pep Band alumnus who is now serving in the Navy, and will soon leave for a 10-month deployment. We are honored to have you with us here tonight Charlie, and we thank you for protecting and defending this great country. Ladies and gentlemen, please join us in welcoming and THANKING Penn Stater, and United States Sailor, Charlie Kuhns!”

“It means so much to see that kind of support and appreciation. The fact that so many average, ordinary people show their gratitude does a lot to benefit our morale. It’s the kind of thing that makes you remember why you’re serving,” Kuhns said. “I can’t thank Coach Chambers, the team and everybody enough for all they did for me. It was a great sendoff.”

For more information about Penn State’s Military Appreciation activities and services, visit http://military.psu.edu/ online.

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