HONOLULU—November 5, 2014—Chaminade University with KemperLesnik, management company for the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational, announced today that Sgt. Janice Wong of the US Army Reserves in Guam and Hawaii will join basketball fans from across the country this month at the prestigious EA SPORTS Maui Invitational hosted by Chaminade University. Wong was chosen as this year’s representative of the Hawaii Wounded Warriors program to receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Maui to attend the nation’s premier early season Tournament and participate in special events, including attending team practices to meet participating head coaches and student-athletes.
This is the fifth year Chaminade and the EA Sports Maui Invitational have recognized a Wounded Warrior at the annual event. Tournament Chairman, G. David Odom, who has been involved with Operation Hardwood – Hoops for Troops – organized the effort to honor a member of the military during the Tournament beginning in 2010.
As the first woman warrior to be honored in this manner, Wong was hailed as a hero today and greeted on campus by Chaminade Silverswords Women’s and Men’s basketball teams, the latter who will be competing against the top Division I basketball teams from across the country later this month at the Tournament. Wong is a decorated veteran who received a Bronze Star in March of 2010 as well as a Meritorious Service Medal. She previously worked in the Governor of Guam’s office and has taken classes at Chaminade, and has served for 18 years in the US Army Reserves, time which included deployments to Kuwait, Egypt, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan.
Also greeting Wong on campus today was a special “Comrade in Arms,” former wounded veteran, well known business leader and Chaminade regent, Shelley Wilson. Wilson’s own personal story of being wounded at the age of 18 while serving as an Army medic and suffering life-threatening injuries led her to start her own successful home nursing care company.
“Chaminade and KemperLesnik are pleased to recognize Sgt. Janice Wong for her many accomplishments serving our county. We plan to roll out the red carpet at the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational for her,” said Chaminade president Bro. Bernard J. Ploeger, SM, PhD.
At today’s event, Wong briefly addressed the student-athletes, advising them to “embrace and face challenges” as that is the only way to overcome adversity in their own lives. “I am so proud to be selected to participate in this program and meet all of you today. Thank you for supporting me and I look forward to seeing our team win at the Tournament!”
An avid sports fan, Wong indicated that she’ll be cheering for the Chaminade Silverswords who face Pittsburgh in the third game on Monday, Nov. 24. At the beginning of that game, Wong will be introduced to those at the Lahaina Civic Center as part of a ceremonial game ball presentation.
Educating students for life, service and successful careers, Chaminade University is a Catholic/ Marianist university offering programs of study grounded in the liberal arts with day, evening, online and accelerated courses. A Native Hawaiian serving institution, Chaminade is located at 3140 Waialae Ave., Honolulu, HI 96816. For more information, visit the Chaminade Web site at www.chaminade.edu or call (808) 735-4711. ###
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