College coaches will work with U.S. troops

Updated: May 5, 2006, 9:01 AM ET
Associated Press

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State coach Tom Izzo will make a return trip to Kuwait this month.

Izzo is one of several coaches headed back to the region for Operation Hardwood II from May 23-29, the school's athletic department announced Thursday. Others going for a second time are Alabama's Mark Gottfried, South Carolina's Dave Odom, Charlotte's Bobby Lutz, Indiana's Kelvin Sampson and ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas.

They will be joined by Texas' Rick Barnes, Army's Jim Crews, Navy's Billy Lange, Kentucky's Tubby Smith, Maryland's Gary Williams and former Air Force coach Reggie Minton.

"Last year's trip to Kuwait was such an unbelievable experience that I'm very excited to have the opportunity to return," Izzo said in a statement.

The Spartans coach described the first Kuwait trip to visit and coach U.S. troops in a tournament as a "life-changing experience."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press