NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- A USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Sailor is headed to Las Vegas to compete in the 28th annual Billiards Congress of America National Championship May 8-13.
This year's tournament will be held at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in downtown Las Vegas, where over 400 of the nation's best will be competing.
Electronics Technician 1st Class (SW/AW) Connie Eddins, leading petty officer of Combat Systems department's Automated Data Processing division began playing billiards in 1969 at the age of ten in her grandparents' basement, and continued to play recreationally throughout her childhood and high school years.
"I used to get so bored, so I picked up the game and had fun with it," said Eddins.
She continued to play as an amateur until she was diagnosed with cancer in 1986, then looked to her love of billiards as a means of rehabilitation and relaxation.
"It completely took my mind off of all of the negativity," said Eddins. "I was able to focus on billiards instead of the pain."
Eddins began playing seriously and entered into many different women's tournaments and leagues and was very successful. She then took the next step and started playing in mixed leagues, then finally doing well enough to turn professional.
"It created a competitive drive to succeed, and it's still there," said Eddins. "It started filtering over into other areas of my life."
Last year Eddins placed ninth in the nation, and noted with confidence, "I'll be champion this year."
USS Carl Vinson is completing its scheduled refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding.
The RCOH is an extensive yard period that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle.
For more news from USS Carl Vinson, visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.