NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman’s (CVN 75) intramural basketball team won the Naval Station Norfolk Afloat Basketball League championship Feb 23., defeating USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) 44-40.
Truman’s championship team compiled a 13-3 record throughout the season.
Since try-outs in October, the players have played two-to-three games a week and practiced in their spare time, according to Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Handling (AW) Thaddues Smith, the team’s head coach.
“It’s harder now that we have to commute back and forth from Portsmouth,” said Smith, as Truman is dry-docked at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. “It’s been a long journey, but it’s paid off.”
Smith said determination was the key to pulling out the victory.
“No matter what, they never gave up, they stayed focused and kept on pursuing that championship,” he said.
Truman’s team comprises players from both the officer and enlisted communities, and anyone who’s got the game can try out, no matter what age. The team’s oldest player, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Carl Smith, has been playing throughout his 17 years in the Navy.
“It’s a pleasure playing out here with these young guys,” said Smith, who contributed more than 10 points to the win. “You get to motivate them after hours, keep them out of trouble, and it’s a great extracurricular.”
According to Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Handling (AW) Brian McRae, one of the assistant coaches, the top players were Airman Brandon Hamilton and Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Leon Timothe, who dominated the lane both offensively and defensively, and sank crucial free throws in a foul-peppered second period.
McRae said Truman is planning to join the summer basketball league, confident on the heels of this successful season, and ready for next October.
“All in all, it was a good season,” said McRae. “We plan on taking next year by storm and getting some trophies under our belt.”
Truman is currently undergoing its dry-docked planned incremental availability (DPIA) at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Va., and is expected to return to sea in the fall.
For related news, visit the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.