Sports

April 19, 2013

Former Airman now NBA pro

Tags:
Airman 1st Class Bobby Cummings
Beale AFB, Calif.

Dallas Mavericks forward Bernard James warms up before a contest with the Sacramento Kings at the Sleep Train Arena, April 5, 2013. James served in the Air Force for six years and began playing basketball at the Harris Fitness Center on Beale Air Force Base, Calif.

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 at Beale.

“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.”

Beale Airmen and 9th Reconnaissance Wing commander, Col. Phil Stewart pose with Dallas Mavericks forward Bernard James before a contest with the Sacramento Kings, April 5, 2013. Stewart and the Airmen met James before the game.

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.

Beale Airmen celebrate their appearance on the big screen at the Sleep Train Arena, April 5, 2013, during a Sacramento Kings game against the Dallas Mavericks. The Airmen were able to meet Mavericks forward and prior Beale Airman Bernard James before the contest.

“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.


 
 

 

News Briefs December 12, 2014

Commissary hours The Commissary will be closed Dec. 25 and 26. Regular hours will resume Dec. 27. The Commissary will be open regular hours Dec. 31, and closed Jan. 1, 2015. For more information, call 661-277-9175. MPF closure The Military Personnel Section in Bldg. 3000 will be closed for an official function Dec. 15 from...
 
 

From the palm of your hand, MyMC2 connects you to Edwards

Members of the Edwards community¬†are reminded of a smartphone app¬†that lets them know what’s going on around base. The My Military Communities is a mobile application that centralizes all of Edwards’ community events, organizations and services right in your pocket for smartphones, both Android and Apple. MyMC2 lists activities happening on base as well as...
 
 
TPS

TPS graduates 24 students

Twenty-four students of Class 14A will graduate from the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School during a ceremony at the schoolhouse Dec. 12 where each student will be awarded a Master of Science in Flight Test Engineering from the A...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Single Airmen get home-baked holiday goodies

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber Senior Airman Chasaneya Jones, 412th Operations Support Squadron fills bags of cookies with the help of her son, Airess. Around 3,600 home-baked cookies were donated.The annual Airman’...
 
 

Thrift Savings Plan limits increase for 2015

The Internal Revenue Service has announced increased limits for 2015 Thrift Savings Plan contributions. “The maximum contribution amount for traditional and/or Roth TSP will be $18,000; this is an increase from the elective deferral limits of 2013 and 2014, which was $17,500,” said Erica Cathro, an AFPC Human Resources Specialist. “Additionally, the maximum amount of...
 
 

New personal property allotment rule implemented to protect Airmen

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recently directed a policy change in paycheck allotments which will prohibit service members from allotting pay to buy, lease or rent personal property. The prohibition includes allotments for the purchase or finance of vehicles, such as automobiles, motorcycles and boats; appliances or household goods, such as washers, dryers and furniture; electronics...
 




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>