LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Siena’s head basketball coach is flying to the Middle East to participate in the tenth year of Operation Hardwood.
Jimmy Patsos is one of eight college coaches headed to the Persian Gulf to coach soldiers in an eight-team league. Operation Hardwood was created in 2005 to boost morale and bring a touch of home to those in uniform.
Patsos was a late addition this year because another coach dropped out. He says he expects the trip will give him a greater sense of appreciation for what the troops do on a daily basis.
“You know, I like to joke around, but I don’t joke around about this stuff,” he said. “What they’re doing is so important to our country. And we’re lucky to have them. For them to take a week off, and they asked me would you coach, and I said of course. My immediate answer was of course.”
While Patsos is coaching soldiers in Kuwait, assistant coach Greg Manning will be in Croatia leading a team of college players on an eight-day, four-game tour against professional teams.
Rising junior point guard Marquis Wright and incoming freshman Kenny Wormley are among the 10 players on Manning’s roster.