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NEWS | April 25, 2008

12th MDG hosts tournament benefitting AFAF

By David DeKunder Staff writer

In early May, Randolph Airmen will have the chance to help the Air Force Assistance Fund while playing basketball at the same time. 

The 12th Medical Group will hold a 3-on-3 basketball tournament May 7 from 8-11:30 a.m. at the Rambler Fitness Center gym to benefit the AFAF. Teams have until noon May 2 to register and pay a $25 fee. 

Registration forms can be picked up at the fitness center, with any unit first sergeant or by contacting Staff Sgts. L.P. Williams or Stacy Robinson at 652-1846 or by email. Active-duty personnel, dependents, Department of Defense civilians and contractors are eligible to play in the tournament. 

Sergeant Williams said the medical group decided to put on a basketball tournament to benefit the AFAF because of what they do for the Air Force community. 

"We are doing this tournament for AFAF because they are always helping those Airmen and their families who are in need," she said. "It feels good for us to give back so that AFAF can help others." 

Organizers are hoping eight to 12 teams will participate in the double elimination tournament. Sergeant Williams said 12th MDG is hoping the same teams who participated in a 3-on-3 tournament held in February as part of Black History Month will be ready to play again. 

"We had six teams in the last tournament," the sergeant said. "It was a great tournament and it was very successful. The Rambler Fitness Center staff was very helpful." 

Three-on-three basketball games are played half-court, with teams taking possessions after a made shot or defensive rebound behind the free throw line. Baskets count for one point and shots made behind the three-point line count for two. 

Since the games will be played in half-court, the fitness center gym will be able to have four games at the same time. 

A coin toss determines what team will receive possession of the ball to start the game. Games will be 15 minutes long and the team that scores 15 points first or has the most points within the 15-minute time period wins. The game clock keeps running unless a player is injured. 

The games have no referees, players are responsible for calling fouls. Sergeant Williams, who oversees the tournament day operations, said the games run smoothly even without officiating. 

"Everyone is honest about calling their own fouls," Sergeant Williams said. 

Sergeant Williams said the tournament should bring out talented players who recently competed in the 5-on-5 intramural and extramural basketball leagues. 

"This tournament will be very competitive because it will bring out the best players on base," she said. "Players will come out to compete for the bragging rights of the base. It will be like the NBA All-Star game." 

Master Sgt. Tony Harmon, 12th MDG Dental Flight NCOIC and AFAF unit contact, said proceeds from the tournament go directly to those Airmen who need it. 

"The purpose for having this tournament is to help the medical group exceed its 12th Flying Training Wing established goals in raising funds for AFAF," he said.