AF men take gold, women silver in b-ball championship

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The 22nd annual Armed Forces Basketball Championship wrapped up competition May 17 with the Air Force men taking gold medals and the Air Force women taking silver in their divisions.  

The Air Force men swept the competition with a record of 6-0, clinching their fourth consecutive title, while the Air Force women finished with 5-1.  The Navy women also finished with a 5-1 record but edged the Air Force women to take the gold. The Marine men took the silver, finishing 3-3.

Air Force forward (Senior Airman) Jammar Major, from Hurlburt Field in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., led the men's team to a fourth consecutive gold medal with 61 points, 30 rebounds and a free throw average of 75 percent.  Major attributes the team's superior conditioning as the main factor for the Air Force's success.

"The last game was a heart filled game, because the Marines came to play," Major said. "They were all that stood between us and another gold medal, but we finished them off for the gold. I think we are the best conditioned team out here and that was a huge factor in our win."

The Air Force men's team racked up 377 points and grabbed 180 rebounds during the week-long championship series leading them to a historical fourth consecutive gold medal. Head coach John Bailey understands history; he has been part of the Air Force team for more than a decade and knew the games would be tough.

"I played on this team for 10 consecutive years, and now I'm coaching," Bailey said. "It's an incredible feat for me. The wins this week were hard fought. Every team came out here and challenged because we had a target on our backs with three in a row gold medals. My guys refused to lose. We stayed with our game plan and prevailed. It's so sweet to win the gold; we left no doubt with our fourth consecutive championship."

The competition took place this year at the Naval Support Activity Mid-South in Millington, Tenn.  All Armed Forces teams received a commemorative coin and team photograph from Capt. William McMasters, Naval Support Activity Mid-South commanding officer, during the closing ceremonies.