Local military personnel and their families were treated to both real life and virtual reality basketball as Fort Hamilton Army Base played host to the first Hoops for Troops event. Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) sponsored the fun-filled evening, along with the National Basketball Association (NBA). NBA Hall of Famer Nate “Tiny” Archibald was on hand to mingle with fans, give some basketball lessons and even get into some video games.
“I don’t mind losing because I don’t play video games,” the former point guard joked. “My grandson has those games and he wanted to play basketball and I said ‘where’s the basketball at?’ He took me to the room, beat me in the game and told everybody he beat me in basketball real bad.”
A giant trailer called the PlayStation ‘Greatness Awaits’ Van was parked at the base. Inside were over 20 high definition televisions, all hooked up to Sony’s latest console, PlayStation 4. Several games were on display including first person shooters, racers, fighters, platformers and more.
But the featured game in the vehicle was the critically acclaimed basketball game ‘NBA 2K15.’ Kids and adults alike played as their favorite teams in a game that features top-notch graphics and gameplay,
John Koller, Sony Computer Entertainment America VP of brand marketing was in attendance for the festivities. “This is just such an awesome event. It’s really great to be here. We’re big time supporters of the military. It started with a video game called ‘SOCOM,” he said. “We’ve tried to be integrated with our friends in the military for all they do.” Koller gave every kid in attendance a gift bag featuring PlayStation gear. Sony also donated PlayStation 4 consoles to the base.
Although the New York born Archibald tried his luck in the game with a soldier, the score was quickly lopsided and not in his favor.
Afterwards Archibald, Sony and the NBA crew made their way to the gym, where the six-time NBA all-star felt more comfortable. Dozens of kids cheered at the sight of the former Celtic.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be here today,” he told the kids before they started their drills. “It’s important for the service men and women protecting us in New York and overseas to make the game of basketball a universal game. They made the game safe for us to play. We wore a different type of uniform. Ours was for fun. Their uniform is for life. I want to congratulate and thank them for protecting our country.”
Then the fun started. “I didn’t fare well with the games, but I know I can do the fundamentals like passing and dribbling and stuff like that,” Archibald said.
“This is a great opportunity, not only for the kids who love video games,” said Colonel Joe Davidson, the base commander. “I played it for the first time and it’s fantastic, but we also have a real life NBA legend who grew up here in the Bronx, went here to play for the Celtics and have an illustrious career as a ball player. It’s a great opportunity to have him here to meet (the kids).”