Sports

April 18, 2013

Former Airman now NBA pro

Tags:
Airman 1st Class Bobby Cummings
9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bobby Cummings)
Dallas Mavericks forward Bernard James warms up before a contest with the Sacramento Kings at the Sleep Train Arena, April 5. James served in the Air Force for six years and began playing basketball at the Harris Fitness Center on Beale Air Force Base, Calif.

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) – The court was shining and cameras flashing as a crowd of thousands gathered in the Sleep Train Arena to watch the Dallas Mavericks duel the Sacramento Kings April 5.

Beale Airmen and 9th Reconnaissance Wing commander, Col. Phil Stewart gathered to witness the contest and meet former 9th Security Forces Squadron, Staff Sgt.  Bernard James, who is now a forward on the Mavericks.

“Meeting Bernard James was a unique experience. His positive representation of the Air Force in the past and present remain steadfast,” Stewart said. “I’d like to thank him for his service and wish him well during his career in the NBA.”

An NBA court is a drastically different environment from Bernard’s humble beginnings at the Harris Fitness Center here.

“Beale is where I started playing basketball and from there my opportunities opened up,” James said. “I really appreciate the support from the Air Force. I wouldn’t be where I am now without the Air Force.”

His time in the Air Force was not always spent honing his skills within the safe confines of a gymnasium. Bernard has deployed to Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar. While at Camp Bucca, Iraq, the Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran guarded detainees and survived a mortar attack which claimed the lives of six detainees. The life-threatening experience has not diminished Bernard’s outlook on the military.

“My experiences in the Air Force and downrange have made me a better person,” James said.

The 28-year-old NBA rookie was a high school dropout and joined the Air Force at 17. His experience was limited until he was advised by his supervisor to begin playing on an intramural squad. From there, he dedicated day after day to improving his skills.

“The Air Force instilled in me discipline, a hard working mentality, and a sense of direction,” James said.

That sense of direction led him to the starting lineup for the Florida State Seminoles. As a senior in 2012 he led Florida State to its first Atlantic Coast Conference championship in school history and to the NCAA tournament. During his senior campaign, the former Airman averaged a career-high 10.8 points per game, 8.1 rebounds per game and 2.3 blocks per game. Later that year his dreams of becoming a NBA pro came true when he was selected 33rd overall in the 2012 draft.

“Being in the NBA is really crazy; my teammates are guys that are hall of famers that I used to watch on TV,” James said. I get to step on the court and compete with players like Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Lebron James. It’s a great feeling, and great motivation to continue to work hard and get better.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Local Briefs April 18, 2014

NARFE Chapter 1874 to meet April 21, noon – 1 p.m. – Golden Corral Restaurant Current and retired Federal employees, spouses, guests, and visitors are invited to join NARFE Chapter 1874 at the Golden Corral Restaurant, 6865 N. Thornydale Dr.  The April meeting will be Monday, April 21. (Senior menu $7.95)  Lunch starts at 11:30...
 
 
DiamondSharp_pict

Diamond Sharp April 18, 2014

Name/Squadron: Airman 1st Class Jessica Nail / 612 AOC (CPD) First Sergeant: Master Sgt. Jamie Harwick Duty Title: ATO Production Technician When joined the AF: August 16, 2011 Hometown: Cambridge, Illinois Hobbies: Soccer, Pla...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Betty R. Chevalier)

Military child recognized by Arizona BGCA

A Sonoran Science Academy freshman was recently selected as the Boys and Girls Club of America Arizona Military Youth of the Year. David Zulli, son of Lt. Col. Daniel Zulli, 355th Fighter Wing base chaplain, competed against ot...
 

 
(U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski)

Grappling, pummeling, trapping: 162nd Airmen learn to ‘close with the enemy’

MARANA, Ariz. – The words on the gym wall summed it up best for 13 security forces specialists who trained at the Western Army National Guard Aviation Training Site here March 17-21. “The defining characteristic of a ...
 
 

Air Force launches new program to capture innovative ideas

WASHINGTON (AFNS) – Air Force officials announced the creation of a new program April 4, designed to harness Airmen’s innovation. Airmen Powered by Innovation, or API, will replace three existing Air Force “good idea” programs – the Innovative Development through Employee Awareness, Productivity Enhancing Capital Investment, and Best Practices programs – and expand the role o...
 
 
AFSOUTH_pict

AFSOUTH sends training team to Colombia to prepare for Exercise ANGEL THUNDER

Capts. Aaron Cavazos and David Nagle, A-10 weapons officers assigned to the 355th Fighter Wing, recently returned from their second mobile training team (MTT) event this year with the Colombian Air Force (COLAF) to prepare for ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin