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NEWS | Sept. 20, 2019

METC instructor selected as trainer for All Armed Forces Women’s Basketball Team

By David DeKunder 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Capt. Kelsey Gebauer, Medical Education and Training Campus Physical Therapist Technician Program instructor at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, will be utilizing her skills as a physical therapist for players on the All Armed Forces Women’s Basketball Team competing at an international tournament in China in October.

Gebauer is the physical therapist and trainer for the team that will compete in the International Military Sports Council 7th Military World Games in Wuhan, China, Oct. 18-28. More than 9,500 athletes from over 100 nations will be competing in the Military World Games, which includes 24 sporting events.

According to the U.S. Armed Forces Sports website, the Military World Games is the second largest multi-sporting event in the world, second only to the Olympic Games.

Gebauer, 28, was notified of her selection as the physical therapist and trainer for the All Armed Forces Basketball Team in June at the U.S. Armed Forces Basketball Championships at Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, Florida, where she worked with the All Army Women’s Basketball Team, also as a physical therapist and trainer. The Army team took first place in the women’s division at the Armed Forces Basketball Championships

She will start working with the All Armed Forces Women’s Basketball Team Sept. 27 at the team’s training camp at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania before they travel to China.

“It’s a cool opportunity to get to be a part of the group that is going over to China and representing the U.S. Armed Forces,” Gebauer said. “I’ve never been to China. Yes, I’m excited about that.”

Gebauer was with the All Army Women’s Basketball Team for four weeks from May to June, including during the team’s tryouts at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, that lasted for three weeks, and the week long Armed Forces Basketball Championships in Florida. 

She said working with the players and coaches on the All Army Women’s Basketball Team was a positive experience for her.

“It was a lot of fun,” Gebauer said. “They’re a super-talented group. It’s fun as a physical therapist to work with athletes at that level to try to help them. They were an incredible group of athletes, an incredible group of Soldiers and just really fun people to be around with. Getting to work with them in that capacity and trying to help them perform at the highest level that they can was a really valuable experience.”

Gebauer was selected as the trainer and physical therapist for the Army women’s team after applying for the position at the urging of Mike Myers, the team’s coach. Myers will be coaching the All Armed Forces Women’s Basketball Team at the Military World Games.

Myers was the coach for the men’s installation team at Fort Hood five years ago when Gebauer was an intern in the physical therapy program at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood, Texas. At that time, Myers asked if there were any interns in the physical therapy program who wanted to volunteer to work with the players on the installation team. Gebauer, along with another intern, volunteered.

“I like working with athletes a lot and so I thought it would be a good learning experience and a good chance to practice some clinical skills in a setting outside of the clinic,” Gebauer said.

Being on the All Armed Forces Women’s Basketball Team will allow Gebauer the opportunity to work with the 12 best players from all the service teams that competed in the women’s division at the Armed Forces Basketball Championships in June, as voted on by the head coaches of the service teams at the tournament.

Gebauer is familiar with some of the players on the All Armed Forces Women’s Basketball Team roster because they played on the Army women’s team. She is looking forward to working with those players as well as the players from the other services who will be on the All Armed Forces squad.

“I’m excited to see the players returning from the All Army Women’s Basketball Team,” she said. “I know a lot of them and know how they move, how they function, what the limitations they might have are, what they are very skilled at and what they do very well. I think that’s going to be helpful. It’s really cool going to work with them, and I’m excited to work with even more very skilled athletes that are going to be joining the team. I’m looking forward to being able to utilize my skills to help them play to the high level that they’re able to play to.”

Since the completion of the Armed Forces Basketball Championships, Gebauer has stayed in touch with the players on the Army women’s team who were selected to the All Armed Forces squad. Through text messages and emails, she has sent workouts to all the players on the All Armed Forces team so they will be in top condition and to address any ailments and injuries they have before they arrive for training camp at Fort Indiantown Gap.

Gebauer said as a physical therapist she can provide expertise to players on body movements.

“Physical therapists are musculoskeletal injury prevention experts,” Gebauer said. “We are good at identifying impairments and limitations while watching somebody move and then helping them work at those things. We are good at assessing injuries and so if something happens on the court or happens during practice, we can quickly determine what it is and decide what needs to happen next in their medical care.”

Gebauer has been in the Army for seven years and went to high school in Duncanville, Texas, where she participated in soccer and basketball.