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NEWS | Jan. 11, 2017

Airman finds hope on the court

By Joseph Gangemi 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

A U.S. Air Force Airman assigned to the 633rd Communication Squadron at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, represented the base as a member of the All Air Force team during a tournament at the Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, this past November.

  “Wearing the jersey with Air Force across the front of it gave me a sense of meaning,” said Wilson. “I always wanted to represent our country while playing the game that I love.”

The North Myrtle Beach, North Carolina, native has been a basketball fanatic and player since age 3. Wilson took the conventional route of playing recreational basketball in his youth through the Amateur Athletic Union, and continued his passion throughout high school.Wilson lead his Varsity high school team to the state championship during his senior year while playing for Trinity Christian High School in Fayetteville, N.C., which was his fourth school in four years.

Wilson’s received a handful of college scholarships from Division I schools. However they were not from the same schools that his teammates received scholarship offers from and this caused Wilson to battle with depression and he lost his love for the game.

With hopes to provide Wilson self-worth again, his mom, Tonya Wilson, discovered the opportunity that the Air Force could provide for her son; a chance to hone his life skills while also playing the game he once loved. Wilson played on two different base-level teams, and later, with encouragement from his leadership, he tried out for the All Air Force team.

  “I didn’t want to take this opportunity for granted and I wanted to make a name for myself,” said Wilson. “I knew after the first day of tryouts I would be able to play on a big stage and make the team.” After making the team, he was sent to Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, where his team prepared for the competition by practicing with four different semi-professional basketball teams.

“Playing basketball has helped me transition into the Air Force and prepared me to adapt to any situation, whether it’s learning a new system or interacting with many different supervisors” said Wilson. Wilson attributes his success to the skills that he has learned on the court over the past 2O years.

With a clear perspective, Wilson has made a commitment to return to the court as a second year player and will continue to work toward making the All Armed Forces team in 2017.

For more information on Air Force sports, contact the Shellbank Fitness Center at 225-8165 or the Anderson Field House at 878-2328.