DePaul's Wainwright to Tour Persian Gulf

ARLINGTON, Va. - Eight of today's most renowned NCAA basketball coaches and sports personalities will soon travel to the Persian Gulf and visit troops as part of the fifth installment of "Operation Hardwood: Hoops with the Troops," a USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour featuring a week-long basketball tournament and championship game with some of the best military players stationed overseas.

Equipment and uniforms for this tour are being provided by NIKE. Among those touring are:

* Fran Fraschilla: ESPN Basketball Analyst and former Saint John's University head coach

* Brian Gregory: University of Dayton

* Jeff Jones: American University

* Reggie Minton: National Association of Basketball Coaches Deputy Director and former Air Force Academy head coach

* Tom Pecora: Hofstra University

* Barry Rohrssen: Manhattan College

* Tom Schuberth: University of Texas-Pan American

* Jerry Wainwright: DePaul University

"Operation Hardwood V" will begin in Washington, DC, where the group will meet with wounded service members receiving care at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center. Following their visit, the coaches and sports personalities will journey overseas to spend time with troops, tour military vessels, pose for pictures and sign autographs.

"I consider it a privilege to travel with the USO and visit our troops stationed overseas," says Minton. "Every time I go out on tour and meet service members, I look forward to listening to their stories, to talking basketball with them and simply enjoying their company."

Created to boost morale and bring a touch of home to those in uniform, the "Operation Hardwood" series has toured with the USO since 2005. Continuing with its mission of bringing sports figures and sports-related events to troops overseas, "Operation Hardwood" has deployed more than 35 NCAA basketball coaches and sports personalities to Kuwait and Japan. Two of this year's participants, Fran Fraschilla and Reggie Minton, are tour veterans with both having toured on installment IV and Minton having toured on installment II.

Celebrities selflessly lend their time to the USO, visiting and entertaining service members stationed around the world. Whether signing autographs, leading clinics, performing free concerts or talking to military schoolchildren, they help service members and their families feel a little closer to home. Entertainers who recently participated in USO tours include Roger Goodell, Drew Brees, Osi Umenyiora, Milo Ventimiglia, Jack Lengyel and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

AT&T, Inc., is the official telecommunications sponsor of USO entertainment tours. For a list of USO tours, visit To learn more about the USO or to find out how to support the troops, visit

About the USO

The USO (United Service Organizations) provides morale, welfare and recreational services to U.S. military personnel and their families. The USO is a nonprofit, charitable organization, relying on the generosity of the American people to support its programs and services. The USO is supported by Worldwide Strategic Partners AT&T Inc., BAE Systems, Blackwater Worldwide, Clear Channel Communications, The Coca-Cola Company, Gallery Furniture, S & K Sales Co., and TriWest Healthcare Alliance. Other corporate donors, including the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381), have joined thousands of individual donors to support the USO. For more information, please visit

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