USS Harry S. Truman, At Sea (NNS) -- For one Sailor on board USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), her naval career has not only given her a chance to perform a job she enjoys and takes pride in, but an opportunity to represent her branch of service and country as a member of the Women's All-Navy Basketball Team.
When she's not on temporary assigned duty playing basketball for the Navy, Hull Technician (HT) Fireman Morgan Petite works in the Engineering Department, performing a variety of tasks to help Truman continue her mission.
"I enjoy being an HT. It's hard work and keeps me motivated," said Petite.
Petite's passion for her job extends into her recreational activities as well. Her love for basketball wasn't something that just came about overnight. It has been a pastime of hers since her early childhood days.
"I've been playing basketball since I was a little girl," said Petite. "Before the Navy, I played basketball in college for a year at Stephen F. Austin University in Texas. It's always been a passion of mine, and something I've enjoyed doing."
Her journey began a year and a half ago when she joined the Navy. Her recruiter informed her about the Women's All-Navy Basketball team and offered specifics on how to get involved.
"Once I came to Truman and got all the information on how to get started, I began gathering what I needed to attend the team tryout session, which is held every April," Petite explained. "I submitted a package and filled out several special request chits while working with my chain of command."
"My chain of command has supported me 100 percent. I'm glad they gave me the opportunity, and I really appreciate it," said Petite.
After attending the initial mini-camp session, Petite waited patiently for a phone call letting her know she was invited to the next step in the process, training camp.
"We conduct four mini-camps around the country -Norfolk, Jacksonville, Seattle and San Diego. From those mini-camps, I select 25 to 30 athletes to invite into training camp," said Lt. Samuel Caldwell, Women's All-Navy Basketball head coach. "Those selected 25 to 30 basketball players will then compete for the 12 spots on the team. Training camp is tough and a very competitive process. Being a member of the All-Navy Basketball team puts those athletes in a very exclusive class. I still get excited for them when I see the pride of the selected few who don the Navy uniform for the first time."
Petite never looked back as she made the team and lead Navy to its second consecutive championship through her leadership at point guard and by contributing 15 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds and 5 steals per game while being nominated as the tournaments most valuable player in June.
"I took the opportunity and ran with it. It's really helped me grow as a person," said Petite. "I encourage other females to give it a shot and tryout."
"I applaud her for coming into her own to learn a new system and being receptive. There is a tremendous amount of pressure on the point guard," said Caldwell. "There's no way we win back-to-back championships without her."
As for the future, Petite will be playing for the All-Armed Forces team in Lake Charles, La. She also plans to return to the All-Navy Basketball Team next spring and hopes one day she gets the chance to become a member of the Naval Academy's women's basketball team.
Although she is quite satisfied with the knowledge and experience she has gained thus far in the Navy and in the All-Navy Basketball team.
"It's the greatest experience I've ever had, and if I could do it all over again, I would!"
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.