News: Joint 100th ARW, 48th FW basketball team takes USAFE crown, gold medals
Story by Karen Abeyasekere
RAF MILDENHALL, England - Four Airmen from RAF Mildenhall recently won the U.S. Air Forces in Europe/Installation Management Command-Europe Basketball Championship March 21-24, 2013, on a joint team with RAF Lakenheath service members in Stuttgart, Germany.
Airman 1st Class Jazz Williams, 100th Security Forces Squadron patrolman from Columbus, Ga.; Senior Airman Jairus Wimberly, 100th SFS patrolman from Gainesville, Fla.; Senior Airman Tim White, 100th Civil Engineer Squadron Customer Service operations manager from Sierra Vista, Ariz.; and Senior Airman Davonte Hentley, 100th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle and equipment maintenance journeyman from Mesa, Ariz., along with six members from RAF Lakenheath, made up the Eagles basketball team.
Fifteen teams from the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps competed for first-place honors at the biggest military sporting event in the European theatre, including those in Spain, Turkey, Italy and Germany. After a "round-robin," it came down to the Eagles versus the Sabers from Spangdahlem, Germany, with the Eagles proudly taking the trophy and gold medals.
They beat the Sabers 55-50.
Since arriving at RAF Mildenhall in September 2012, both Williams and Wimberly have been on a winning streak at basketball. They played on the winning team for 100th SFS during the Team Mildenhall intramural games, then went head-to-head with the 48th Force Support Squadron, beating them, during an intramural competition between RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath. With those wins under their belt, Williams and Wimberly more than earned their place on the Eagles team which took the IMCOM-Europe trophy.
This is White's third time playing on a basketball team for his base. While at his previous base at Osan, Korea, his team won the Pacific Air Force championships.
With all this history, the team has chalked up plenty of winning experience.
"All the hard work we did during the year paid off," Wimberly said.
White, a "veteran" of basketball, having played since he was 5, said winning the European championship was a great feeling.
"It was nerve-wracking, to see who we were going to play," he said.
The last game in the semi-final was between Wiesbaden and Spangdahlem - the winner would then go on to play the Eagles.
"Both were good teams, but at the end of the day we knew we could beat anyone who was at that tournament!" White said.
He added it was obvious the joint RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath team was a good mix.
"We gelled pretty well, and got to know each other's game. The chemistry seemed to click right at the beginning of the season and we all got on well together," he said.
The squadron commanders all had high praise for their airmen.
"Whether it's on or off the basketball court, Senior Airman Devonte Hentley exemplifies teamwork and is dedicated to whatever task he's given," said Maj. Timothy Voruz, 100th LRS commander.
"When performing his primary duty of maintaining and repairing vehicles, he's a critical part of the vehicle management team to ensure the installation's vehicle fleet is operational. While on court, he plays alongside his teammates with pride and determination," the 100th LRS commander said. "I'm sure he's very proud of his teammates for taking home the IMCOM-Europe Basketball championship."
Having two of his airmen on the winning team, Lt. Col. David Harris, 100th SFS commander, was especially proud.
"I couldn't be happier for them. These two (Williams and Wimberly) have done an exceptional job of providing a positive representation of the 100th SFS, Team Mildenhall, and now, the combined RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath communities," he said.
"They've put in a lot of hard work throughout the season, all while maintaining a tough duty schedule - I think it says a lot about them as Defenders and as Airmen. They've represented us well, and I'm glad to see them receive some well-deserved recognition for all their effort."
The 100th CES Commander, Lt. Col. Scott Griffin, said his airman is a tremendous asset to his squadron, both in the squadron and on the court.
"It's no surprise he helped the basketball team bring the trophy to the United Kingdom," Griffin said. "His tenacity, enthusiasm and winning attitude are unparalleled. I'm proud to have him represent the 100th CES family!"
Date Posted:04.16.2013 11:41
Location:MILDENHALL, SFK, GB
Hometown:COLUMBUS, GA, US
Hometown:GAINESVILLE, FL, US
Hometown:MESA, AZ, US
Hometown:SIERRA VISTA, AZ, US