Basketball teams face off in joint service league
The next home games are Saturday at Gym 5 versus the Keesler Air Force Base Dragons. Entry is free. The women’s game is at noon and the men’s is at 2 p.m.
“We travel to other installations and see their families and the community support of their teams,” said team coach Capt. Eddie Byrd, who is assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 347th Regiment, on post.
The teams are made up of all service members and dependents who want to compete in basketball. There are also students who are in training on the team with their commander’s approval.
At first the South Eastern Military Athletic Conference lacked the addition of another team to create a league for the women. Byrd put one together to play against four other installations in the women’s division.
There are nine teams in the men’s division made up of, in order of team ranking, the Fort Gordon Eagles, Maxwell AFB Flyers, Duke Field Red Empire, Eglin AFB Eagles, Robbins AFB Hawks, Charleston AFB, Hurlburt Field Commandos, Keesler AFB Dragons, and Fort Benning Knights.
Last Saturday’s men’s game both teams were undefeated. Fort Gordon beat Maxwell AFB 85-61. The women lost 40-69.
“This was a big win [for the men],” said Byrd. “Their coach told me, ‘We couldn’t keep up with them; your guys are too conditioned.’ We had two rotations switching in and out, and I told them to just run and keep going.”
Both the men’s and women’s team hold one hour practices three days during the week at Gym 5, which doesn’t take too much time from their jobs and families. With people moving to new duty stations, deploying, there is always positions open.
“We have a well balanced team,” said Byrd.”