HENDERSONVILLE - Fans in attendance for Hendersonville High School’s home district basketball game against Station Camp on Jan. 7 will see players wearing a different set of uniforms as the two schools will honor veterans and active military personnel for their military appreciation game. 

“We were sitting around and thinking of how we could do something in honoring a group of people and we thought what better than as Commandos and having a strong military presence in the school to have a military appreciation game with special uniforms,” Hendersonville boys head coach Clancy Hall said. “I’ve never really heard of anyone at the high school level honoring those that serve with special uniforms and so we came up with the idea.”

Hall and the rest of his coaching staff got to work on building a uniform through Nike and with the help of H&T Carpets.

“Without H&T Carpets this isn’t possible,” Hall said. “They really stepped up and made this happen because these uniforms are not cheap. It’s a great thing to honor those that serve and who have served. We are hoping this continues to grow and that maybe one year we can raise some funds for a special group and give money back to the people that need it.”

Both teams will wear red, white, and blue uniforms with the home Commandos wearing a white uniform with the word “Honor” and the visiting Bison wearing a red uniform with the word “Valor.” Both uniforms with have “USA” across the backs. 

“When you start thinking of words that represent the military those are prominent,” Hall said. “It’s an honor to serve and the extraordinary amount of valor it takes to do so. Most schools and players want their names on the back of the uniform but we wanted to show unity, that despite a rivalry or whatever we are all one country. We can put those rivalries aside and honor those that serve us.”

The Commandos originally wanted to honor the military personnel around Dec. 7, but Nike informed the school they could not guarantee the uniforms would be in on time so they were forced to move the appreciation game to Jan. 7.

“Ideally, we would love to do it around Nov. 11, but since our season doesn’t start until after Veterans Day, we thought the next best date would be Dec. 7.”

Dec. 7 marks the anniversary date of when Japanese planes attacked the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, killing more than 2,300 Americans in 1941. 

President Franklin Roosevelt called Dec. 7, 1941 “a date which will live in infamy.” Congress then declared War on Japan, which ushered the United States into World War II. 

“I called coach Seth Massey at Station Camp and him and coach Miranda Cravens were very supportive and thought it was a great thing to do,” Hall continued. “Both Station Camp and our school are behind it 100% and it’s just been a really cool thing to have everyone’s support. We need to do something like this every year.”

Moving forward, Hendersonville will have their military appreciation game as close to Dec. 7 as possible. 

Fans in attendance can see the Color Guard and JROTC march with the flag, hear the select chorus sing and buy t-shirts and mini shakers to support veterans and active military personnel. 

“Our goal is to one day having a reception upstairs for veterans and active duty members,” Hall said. “We wanted to start small and see how everything played out, but we are hopeful it will be a great night for all those involved. We just want to say thank you to our veterans and those currently serving.” 

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