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AF women try out for basketball team

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman William J. Blankenship
  • 42nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Airmen stationed around the world gathered at Maxwell Air Force Base Oct. 19 to try out for the All Air Force women's basketball team, with hopes of representing the service in the Armed Forces Basketball Championship tournament at Camp Pendleton, Calif., in November.

In his second year as the head coach, Lee McGlown is charged with taking 16 females that were invited to camp and forming his team of 12. Those selected to try out submitted packages that were reviewed by the coaching staff who invited the top candidates.

"We work on skill development, team concepts, team building and learning their strengths and weaknesses and combining them into making a team," he said. "We have players from all over the globe. My goal is that they will all come together to ultimately win the gold."

With only playing together for three weeks, McGlown has to quickly instill what he is looking for from his players to prepare them for the best competition in the armed forces.

"My main thing is 'IQ basketball'," said the coach. "How skilled they are, their attention to detail, understanding help-side defense and being the ultimate team player are all points of emphasis that they need to show me before we get to California."

The team hopefuls will spend the next two weeks doing two practices a day, all while being evaluated by the coaches, who will decide whether they go back to their bases or continue on to the tournament.

"I understand their mission is to the Air Force first; this is secondary," McGlown said. "But at the same time, I want them to combine the two and show passion for the Air Force by doing sports."

The team is expected to be a smaller lineup than years past. McGlown said they will compensate for that by pressing the opposition and getting into transition offense as quickly as possible. These are critical aspects of their team philosophy as they try and dethrone the defending champions, the Navy.

"The tournament is set up like the Olympics," he said. "There will be opening ceremonies and meet-and-greets before a round-robin tournament that will decide who plays for the gold medal. This is a great opportunity for them to represent their service."

More information about All-Air Force basketball can be found at .