ROTC and College Basketball


New Member
Sep 2, 2017
I would love to hear some feedback on this topic. I know that I want to be an officer in the Air Force and I feel that ROTC is the best option for me to achieve that goal. At the same time though, my dream has always been to play college basketball. I recently received recieved an offer to play basketball for the college that I will be attending. The college has an ROTC cross town agreement so that is no problem. My question is, is it possible to play college basketball and do ROTC?
If the coach and the ROTC cadre are cooperative it can be possible. You will be extremely busy. You might miss some practices or perhaps even games... or you might miss some ROTC activities which is why you need both the coach and the ROTC cadre's support in this endeavor. There are some earlier threads about this. You might want to search through them for insights from folks who have actually done something like this.
I believe one of the Plumley brothers played basketball at Duke, participated in Army ROTC and was commissioned a 2LT upon graduation. “plumley duke basketball”.
Depends on the school. Blow my mind when I meet prospects that tell me other programs or coaches tell them it can’t be done. I know all the coaches at all my schools and work closely with them when we have a Cadet/athlete to work out conflicts.
Two topics combined, crosstown and varsity sports.
Trying to crosstown in any ROTC is challenging. AF seems to be the easiest, but challenging all the same. You need to talk to the unit and to members that are currently crosstowning.
Ask the unit how many people crosstowning members have started and how many have commissioned.
My favorite response was "we completely support crosstowning."
How many crosstowners have commissioned in the last 5 years? "Ah, none."
Ask the current crosstown students how much time they spend commuting. You'll be surprised at what is required at some units.
A couple of extreme examples. An hour commute, each way, three or four days a week. I can name at least two units where this is the requirement.

Many units whole heartily support varsity sports. Some make it very challenging. I can think a number of units where half the cadets/mids are varsity athletes. The unit takes pride in naming them off.
If the response is "we have one," make sure you talk to that athlete and get the straight scoop.

You need to have the discussion with the unit and the coach and come to an agreement in writing as to how you will participate in season and out of season. CO's change. Once you are contracted the units tone can change. This is the best way to set clear expectations. You better follow them. This board is littered with folks that get in trouble because they failed to uphold their end of the bargain.

Good luck!
Thanks for all the great responses! I’m working on setting up a meeting with the detachment I will be attending to discuss all of this. My detatchment is a 30 minute drive from the school I will be attending, so it wouldn’t be a terrible drive. I have to drive that distance to my high school everyday, so I’m used to that aspect. I’ve recieved a type 7 scholarship from AFROTC. If it gets to where both can’t be done then I will just have to give up basketball. I care more about my Air Force career than playing a few more years of basketball.
In my opinion its not just a matter of coach and ROTC working together, it's a matter of having enough time to be successful in your academics that is the bigger issue.
The other 2 are considered extra curricular activities, without strong academics you won't be participating in either one.

You have to have enough time to study and do your class work.
I’m working on setting up a meeting with the detachment

If I can make a suggestion - try to see if there is a cadet from your potential detachment doing this - a major extracurricular like a sport or marching band - and ROTC. Contact them and see how they budget their time. The fact it is a cross-town school adds more pressure on your available time, and ROTC is a bigger time investment than most classes (when was the last time you pressed your shirt and polished your shoes for calculus?).
A big help on cross-town programs is finding out how many cadets will share your campus.

If there are enough cadets, your cadre may already have an arrangement to do PT locally, and possibly to send a cadre member to teach a basic MIL class at your campus.