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USU Medical Student Competes in the Armed Forces Basketball Championships

Navy Ensign Mary “Katie” Robey, a fourth-year medical student from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU), was selected to join the 2023 All-Navy Women’s basketball team. Robey, a lifelong basketball player, competed in the Armed Forces Basketball Championships at Fort Moore, Georgia, Nov. 3-5, 2023.

Robey says a coach initially approached her while she was shooting hoops at a gym during a break while completing a recent clinical rotation in San Diego. She enthusiastically jumped at the chance to compete, but first had to get permission from her chain of command to try out for the team, which she received. She then spent the month practicing with the other players.

“This is an opportunity I would never have had if I didn’t go to USU,” says Robey. “It’s just so unique — how many other med students in the country can say, ‘Oh yeah, I get to play basketball competitively for a little over a month and be excused from my clinical duties.’ It’s just one of a million of the unique offerings that USU can provide its students.

“It feels like so many stars aligned in terms of timing,” Robey says, adding as a fourth-year medical student she was able to use the tournament opportunity as one of her electives. “Everyone at the university was supportive and said ‘this is such a good opportunity,’” Robey says.

Robey’s interest in playing basketball began when she was in first grade and continued through high school and college. While she loves the sport, her true passion is helping others — something that was inspired by her father who is a surgeon.

“I wanted to explore other passions (besides basketball) and knew going into college that med school was something that I wanted to pursue.”

Robey admits when she was younger she didn’t want to do what her father did because he seemed to work all the time.

“It wasn’t until I spent more time with him in the hospital that I started realizing how profound doctors and their roles are in other people’s lives. And I realized that they are so selfless in giving their time to help take care of other people,” Robey says.

It wasn’t people, but business that Robey and her teammates took care of on the court. The Women’s Basketball Championships featured teams from the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Army. The Air Force team took home first place, followed by Army. The Navy and Marine Corps battled it out for third, with Robey’s Navy team ultimately winning the spot 62-55.

Robey didn’t anticipate that simply playing basketball in the gym would lead to representing the Navy’s women’s team, but she considers it a great opportunity.

“It was a phenomenal experience,” Robey beams. “I had a lot of fun being able to play the game I love again on a competitive level, but what made the experience worthwhile was forming really close friendships with the other girls on the team in a relatively short amount of time.”

Continuing, Robey remarks that one of the major strengths of the Armed Forces teams is that they provide an opportunity to bring individuals from such different backgrounds, and different job sectors, together to fight for the common goal of bringing the gold back to one’s respective branch.

“I’m grateful that I got to be a part of this team, and I’m really proud of how we were able to come together and work off of our individual strengths to win a lot of tough games. It took a lot of selflessness and positivity from everyone to win some of our later games, and I wouldn’t have wanted to end on any other note. But overall, it was definitely an experience I’ll remember for the rest of my life, and one that I’ll look back on with a lot of fond memories. Roll Navy!”

Date Taken: 11.14.2023
Date Posted: 11.28.2023 09:54
Story ID: 458599
Location: US

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