Pass. Dribble. Shoot! The basketball swooshed through the hoop and a roar of screams and cheers were heard from the crowd at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, as the Ramstein Lady Rams basketball team fought for another win towards a championship award in the year 2006.
The 2006 U.S. Armed Forces Europe championship win wasn’t the first achievement for Chief Master Sgt. Lashonda Grant, however, and it certainly would not be the last in her basketball career.
Although the cultivated talent and recognition began in her military career, a love for this sport has been a motivating drive for Grant since a very young age.
“I live and breathe the game,” said Grant. “This sport has always been the love of my life and I have such a passion for it, starting when I was a kid in my front yard.”
During her 13 years of basketball service in the Air Force, she joined a number of various military women’s basketball teams and competed all over the world against other military branches, and local teams in the areas where she was stationed.
“Ramstein was my favorite,” said Grant. “Our team was so good, no one wanted to invite us to their tournaments.”
Every team has a star player: a player that scores the most, moves the fastest, and gets a majority of the recognition. Upon hearing about her placement into the Military Basketball Association Hall of Fame, the overwhelming surprise and joy was certainly expressed by Grant.
“You don’t have to be the one who scores all the points to be at the top of your game,” said Grant. “Play to the best of your ability. Every position is valuable and helps lead your team to a win.”
Grants driving passion for the game of basketball made her stand out from her peers when she was nominated to receive this special place in the hall of fame.
“This game made me a better Airman because I had a focus,” said Grant. “It has ultimately been my drive in life and plays a big part behind this achievement. I feel so honored, almost like I don’t deserve it because I always felt like a background player.”
Over the years, she has continued to inspire others, teaching kids not just the game of basketball but also valuable life lessons and motivating tricks to keep their head in the game.