Servicemen build teamwork on the court

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U.S. Armed Forces basketball team
LTJG Craig Johnson (#8) and YN3 Antonio Robinson (#6) pose with the U.S. Armed Forces basketball team. Photo courtesy of YN3 Antonio Robinson.

At 6 feet 5 inches and 6 feet 7 inches, LTJG Craig Johnson and YN3 Antonio Robinson may not find shipboard berthing very comfortable but they are unquestionably comfortable on the basketball court.

Johnson from the Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin and Robinson from Personnel Services and Support Unit Alameda helped the 11-man U.S. Armed Forces basketball team reign the court to win the 47th Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) international basketball tournament in Mons, Belgium, Dec. 4.

After an eight-day training camp in Germany to acquaint themselves with their new teammates, Johnson and Robinson had a feeling Team USA was an Armed Forces “Dream Team.”

“The first night we got there, we went down just to shoot and ended up getting into a 5-on-5 game,” said Johnson, who also played for the Coast Guard Academy. “From then, I knew it was going to be a real good team because we got along right off the bat and meshed really well.”

Over the six-day tournament, Team USA defeated eight other military teams from Latvia, Italy, Great Britain, Lithuania, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. In the final nail biting game, USA beat Lithuania 78-71 to win their first gold medal in the tournament since 2004.

“It was back and forth,” said Robinson, who also played on the 2010 U.S. Armed Forces International Military Sports Council (CISM) team. “They tried to come back three or four times, but we kept shutting them down in the second half.”

Congratulations to the men’s U.S. Armed Forces basketball team for their excellent teamwork and ultimate victory!

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