FORT CARSON, Colo. – Although all Soldiers wear the same uniform, each has their own unique story that brought them to duty. Spc. Jacari Chambers, a transportation management coordinator assigned to the 152nd Movement Control Team, 4th Division Special Troops Battalion, 4th Division Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, has had an exciting journey filled with basketball, family and hard work.

Chambers, a 23-year-old native of Fort Worth, Texas and a first-generation military member in his family, was a standout basketball player before he donned an Army uniform. After a stellar high school campaign at North Crowley High School, Chambers was a student-athlete on the basketball team at Northwest Kansas Technical College, until something changed his original path.

“I played in college for a while until I got injured my senior season and decided to join the Army shortly after,” Chambers said.

Despite the barrier he faced, Chambers recalls a conversation he had with his father, who encouraged him to join the military, a decision that would allow him to “further his career while still having the opportunity to get back out there and play basketball at a high level.”

Chambers arrived at Mountain Post in 2022.

Since arriving at Fort Carson, the towering 6-foot-1 combo guard has made a stunning impression on the Colorado Military basketball scene.

“Every day, as soon as my shift was over, I would go to the local gyms and participate in hours of open run sessions,” Chambers said.

It was during these open gym sessions that former Fort Carson Basketball Team captain and current All Army athlete, Sgt. Akeem Echols, discovered Chambers and introduced himself to him.

“He asked me what school I played for, and when I told him I was in the military and stationed at Fort Carson, he put me in touch with the coach at Carson and the coach at Colorado Military Basketball (CMB) and basketball has been going well for me ever since,” Chambers explained.

Since then, Chambers has played for both the Fort Carson Basketball and CMB programs during his years at the Mountain Post, but it was his decision to play with CMB that set off a chain reaction of great success for him through the 2023-24 season.

CMB, which Chambers said “has been a brotherhood since day one,” rose to the top of the Military Basketball Association (MBA) circuit this past season and ended this basketball season bringing some heavy-duty hardware back to Colorado Springs after winning the MBA National Championship on CBS Sports in June.

“My coach told me if I just stayed loyal and committed to the team, he would take care of me, and he certainly did,” Chambers recalled.

This season, Chambers had the opportunity to play in the MBA’s Puerto Rico Classic Tournament and win the Most Valuable Player award. He averaged over 20 points per game while playing as a substitute.

“The coolest thing about these opportunities is that I get to travel and play the game I love in places I’ve never had the chance to go before,” explains Chambers, who has never been to Puerto Rico.

A few months later, Chambers and his CMB teammates traveled to Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to compete in the nationally televised MBA Finals Tournament.

Chambers put his best foot forward and again won the Most Valuable Player award after their championship game win over Cannon Air Force Base.

“We worked hard all season, with achieving first place in the final being our top priority, so it felt great to complete the mission and seal the deal in June,” said Chambers as he reflected on the outcome of his successful season.

Since MBA finals, Chambers has continued to compete in high-level basketball competitions, including recently the Ivy Week basketball tournament at Fort Carson, where Chambers led his 152nd Movement Control Team battle buddies to the championship game.

“Jacari’s passion for the game is something special to witness,” said Harry Upshaw III, military and veterans outreach coordinator for the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs and head coach of the Fort Carson men’s basketball team.

Coach Upshaw, who has coached Chambers for two seasons now, emphasized the unique nature of Chambers’ relationship with basketball.

“You don’t see many people his age seeking out and absorbing as much information about basketball as he does. He’s always talking about how to improve himself, studying film and perfecting his game. And when you see him on the court, it’s like poetry in motion,” Upshaw added.

Chambers said that “it’s only going to get better from here” as his goals for the future continue to grow.

He plans to enroll at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor in Belton, Texas, once he completes his permanent move to Fort Cavazos, where he can complete his undergraduate degree and return to playing college basketball.

He also has ambitions to be selected for the All-Army basketball team and hopes to represent his country by playing for Team USA abroad against our European counterparts.

“And after all those goals are accomplished, I want to continue my career in the military by pursuing an officer commission,” Chambers said.

Chambers stressed the importance of hard work, coupled with a love of the game, to achieve great success.

“It won’t happen overnight, but if you stay consistent and collaborate with like-minded individuals who are pursuing the same goals as you, the world is your oyster,” Chambers said.

Upshaw wants people and soldiers to know that you can “Be All You Can Be” and still enjoy the sports that are available in the civilian world.

“Many people think that after their high school career it’s over, but the military does an excellent job of providing programs for many sports so that athletes can continue to perform at a high level while having the opportunity to travel and immerse themselves in new cultures,” Upshaw said.

There are endless ways to ‘Be All You Can Be’. What’s your way?

Date taken: 07.03.2024
Date posted: 07.03.2024 15:55
Story ID: 475545

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