Armed Forces Classic | Bringing the Home Court to Troops Abroad
3 years ago
Every year, Connor Sports installs hundreds of basketball courts across the globe. Rarely do installations have a strong personal connection for our company and our employees. The Armed Forces Classic does.
Since 2012, Connor Sports and ESPN Events have partnered as champions of sport to bring a piece of home and rare opportunity to military members and families stationed on bases abroad – the chance to attend a top tier college basketball game.
Bruce Haroldson – the son of a Marine, a Marine veteran and Connor Sports technician - understands why the Armed Forces Classic is important to the troops. Bruce’s parents met during WWII when his father was serving as a Marine and his mother as an Army Flight Nurse. Bruce was born on a Marine base and continued to live on bases until he was 10 years old.
As a member of the Marines, Bruce was stationed on the Marine Barracks in Naples, Italy. Living on Marine bases as a child and an adult Bruce knows being stationed overseas is a thrilling experience but everyone awaits their return home, “Although serving overseas is exciting I can attest that going home to the USA is what everyone looks forward to.”
Knowing homesickness and the desire to partake in US events when stationed internationally, Bruce has become a champion of the military community and Armed Forces Classics. He has become Connor Sports’ lead technician for the event and has installed every Armed Forces Classic basketball court since the events’ beginning.
Having this opportunity is a big deal for Bruce. It allows him to show his respect for members of the military by working hand-in-hand with them on base to bring an important part of American life overseas.
This year’s Armed Forces Classic has extra meaning for Bruce. It was the first time since 1971 he was on a Marine base to celebrate the Marine’s birthday.
Bruce’s and our personal connection to the Armed Forces Classic makes the event close to Connor Sports’ heart. We’re proud to be part of an event that celebrates champions of our country by bringing sports abroad in an effort to take military members home for a day.