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Posted: March 1, 2018 12:28 p.m.
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WTB civilian mentors young basketball players

Zach Rehnstrom/

U.S. Army MEDDAC – Fort Stewart Warrior Transition Battalion, Victim Advocate and former Army Sgt. Major Dana King has spent over ten years of his life mentoring young women as the Assistant Basketball Coach for Bradwell Institute.

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In a crowded locker room, the Bradwell Tigers Varsity Girls Basketball team receives their last words of wisdom before heading out onto the court. Leading the charge is Assistant Coach, U.S. Army MEDDAC – Fort Stewart Warrior Transition Battalion, Victim Advocate, and former Army Sgt. Major, Dana King. King relies on the training and discipline that he received in his 25 years in the Army to keep the Lady Tigers ready and vigilant.

King, has spent over 10 years of his life as the assistant coach for the Lady Tigers, and understands the importance of providing his young team with a foundation in self-restraint.

“That’s our future,” King said. “The kids are our future, so we [have] to mentor them, to put them on the right track. So, this is going to be their world.  We’re going to be gone one day, and we want to set the perfect example, the right example, for them to succeed in this world.”

Discipline and duty are principals that King understands well. King’s position as a victim advocate for the WTB, which involves counseling young Soldiers daily, has helped provide him with the necessary tools he needs when mentoring his young players on the court.

“Coach King has made a big impact on me,” Bradwell point guard Re’aja Depriest said. “When I first started, I didn’t have everything, but as a coach, he makes sure he’s going to get us there.”

King’s military training and discipline as a retired senior non-commissioned officer helps the players see the importance of preparing for the big challenges in life.

“He trains us really hard, and makes sure we have heart, and we never give up,” Depriest said. 

Head Varsity Girls’ Basketball Coach, Faye Baker has spent over 10 years alongside the retired senior NCO and understands the value he brings to the team.

“He brings discipline,” Baker said. “I mean, that’s one thing, one capacity that I don’t have to worry about, you know, as far as, training and getting the girls in the best shape possible to be ready to execute on the floor. So, he brings so much to our program, and I couldn’t do this without him.”

For Baker and King, keeping their team prepared for any contingency on the court is important, but they never lose site of what really matters: providing the young girls on the team with a foundation for success.

“It’s more than winning basketball games,” Baker said. “It’s making these girls into productive citizens. So, we want them to work hard in all aspects of their life.”

At press time, the Lady Tigers were preparing to continue in the Georgia High School Association playoffs for the win. Even though King is focused on the Lady Tiger’s next victory he never lets that get in the way of his primary mission - providing the Soldiers of the WTB with a healing environment, so they can focus on what’s important, their mission to heal.

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