Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Derek Volland
PHUKET, Thailand (May 29, 2013) — Sailors from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) participated in an exhibition game with the British International School (BIS) basketball team, the Pythons.
The Nimitz basketball teams, Nimitz TNT and the Five Stars, warmed up before the big match by playing against each other in a short scrimmage game.
“This is an amazing opportunity for these boys,” said Jamie Blake, the BIS physical education teacher and coach for the Pythons, as he prepared his team for the first quarter.
After four, ten-minute quarters both teams were exhausted.
“These kids where amazing,” said Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Byron Dewalt, coach of the Nimitz TNT. “During the first two quarters, they lead this game. After halftime though, our guys just kicked the rust off and went to work.”
As the final buzzer rang both teams were eager to congratulate each other on a game well played. The final score: Nimitz 94, Pythons 44.
“I can’t thank the Nimitz enough for coming here today,” said Blake. “The boys on this team have never played a team this athletic or this fast.”
The Nimitz teams were also very impressed by the sportsmanship of the Pythons.
“Playing a team like this makes everything worth it,” said Logistics Specialist 3rd Class JC Hunt IV. “When the game turned around in the second half and they started falling behind they weren’t angry or put out like some guys get back home. They played an amazing game and I hope to get another chance to play them again.”
Opportunities like the ones provided by this match-up are a great way for the Sailors to better understand the cultures of their host nations and serve to better strengthen the relationship between the Navy and the Thai people.
Nimitz, along with Carrier Strike Group 11, are deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility conducting security operations and theater security cooperation efforts.