2024 Military Basketball Association Championships in Philadelphia sheds light on stresses veterans overcome

Memorial Day weekend, for some, is typically always about the beach and barbecues, but how about basketball?

Hoops took center stage over the holiday weekend at Temple University so the men and women in the military could have a little fun and raise money and awareness about a serious topic.

The Military Basketball Association (MBA) was started six years ago by an Army Major who struggled after getting back from Baghdad, and it aims at helping others.

Retired Army Major Mike Meyers says basketball helped him deal with so many issues after he served time in Baghdad, so he started the MBA, a league for men and women in the military to deal with stress and come together for support.

"We have over 1000 athletes and over the last six years we’ve had zero suicides and so it’s an incredible effort, it’s and incredible volunteer effort and you know we’re just excited to be here in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia," said Mike Meyers, MBA Founder.

People came from all over the country for the championship weekend to see the stiff competition, but also to remember the men and women who’ve sacrificed so much for our country.

"It's about much more than a basketball game. You know it’s about hard work, it's about teamwork and it's about highlighting the amazing folks that we have in the military," said  General Laura McHugh, PA National Guard.

"It really is bigger than that and I think it’s even great  that we have two army teams competing for it," said Lindsey Scamman/Fort Liberty.

Joseph Wise fought in Vietnam and brought his grandsons to watch the games.

He has a message for people still serving in the military and to all those they keep safe. 

"Continue to fight for us," said Joseph Wise, Vietnam Veteran. "Keep us strong, we're protecting you." 

"I think it’s a good day since I’m not doing it tomorrow, I’m doing something today for him so that’s why I like Memorial Day and stuff because of him," said Wise’s grandson Kelvin Davis, 7th grade.

If you’d like to learn more about the Military Basketball Association, or if you’d like to donate, visit the MBA website.