|COACHES JEFF CAPEL (middle) AND STEVE WOJCIECHOWSKI (Chuck Liddy/Raleigh N&O)|
AP FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- Mike Krzyzewski gave his Duke team a taste of his Army past.
The former West Point cadet, player and coach had the Blue Devils at Fort Bragg on Monday for a day of physical training and an open practice in front of a few hundred soldiers.
"I just want our guys to be around the best team in the world, and the best team in the world is our military," Krzyzewski said. "So, for a day, we're going to have that honor."
For Krzyzewski, the visit to this sprawling Army post in central North Carolina reconnected him to his past.
Before he became "Coach K," he was Bob Knight's point guard at West Point in the 1960s and rose to the rank of captain before resigning in 1974 and getting his record-setting college coaching career off the ground. Before he arrived at Duke in 1980, he coached the Black Knights for five years.
Krzyzewski said his doctors wouldn't let him tackle the obstacle course -- which the players called the toughest part of the day -- because the 65-year-old has had both hips replaced. But he added that his experiences in the Army were "good for me at one time in my life, and it's paid good dividends for me, and I wanted them to be exposed to it."
|(Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer)|
Getting on the court and practicing wound up being the easiest thing the players did. With the university on fall break until Wednesday, the team had an opening in the schedule to make the 90-mile trip south. They arrived Sunday and spent the night in barracks.
Then came a 5:45 a.m. wake-up call and a march to physical training. They tackled an obstacle course before arriving at the physical fitness center where they practiced. Virtually every player showed up at the gym caked in dirt from the obstacle course.
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