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NEWS | Oct. 1, 2020

JBLE Raptors shine at Military Basketball Association

By Staff Sgt. Delaney Gonzales 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The Military Basketball Association recognized two members of the Joint Base Langley-Eustis Raptors for their distinguished performance during the 2019-2020 basketball season at the Shellbank Fitness Center, Sept. 24, 2020.

The MBA announced Kevin Omally, JBLE Raptors head coach, as Coach of the Year and U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Corey Rucker, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center program manager, as Player of the Year.

Omally and Rucker credit their successes to the strength of the Raptor basketball team.

“My team means a lot to me; they’re family.” Omally said. “That’s my reason for coaching. I want to coach them to success.”

The Raptors experienced a lot of highs during the 2019-2020 season including multiple tournament wins and becoming the top ranked team.

“We won three straight major tournaments and were ranked number one in the MBA for 24 consecutive weeks,” Rucker exclaimed.

Basketball is engrained in both of the new awardees. Omally played basketball for 14 years and has actively coached the sport for 18 years. Rucker has been playing since he was three years old, which is a total of 29 years of experience as an athlete.

The sport offers them a sense of reprieve from the chaos of everyday life.

“Basketball is a way for me to escape from day-to-day work and relax,” Omally noted.

“Basketball is a great stress reliever, it’s like meditation,” Rucker explained. “I always tell my wife that basketball was my first love.”

Omally and Rucker look forward to getting back on the court and setting a precedent for their competitors worldwide.

“Our team is comprised of all armed-forces talent,” Rucker stated.

Omally is hopeful about making a new name for the JBLE Raptors.

“I want to put this base on the map,” Omally said with confidence. “Just watching how we’ve developed from five years ago to this point – it’s breathtaking.”