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Injured Airman reports to basketball camp

By Tony Perez | 37th Training Wing Public Affairs Office | Oct. 11, 2007

LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS — Sedric Whitaker, 59th Surgical Specialties Squadron, has been selected to attend the 2007 All-Air Force Men's Basketball Trial Camp. The camp will be held at Buckley AFB, Colo.

He will be competing there against 22 other players for a spot on a team that only has 12 roster spots.

That team will represent the Air Force at the Armed Forces Basketball Championship in November. The championships will be held at Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station, N.C.

This is the second time Whitaker has been selected to participate in the trial camp. In 2006, however, Whitaker was forced to leave the camp early because of poor health.

"Last year I got sick two days before the coach made cuts," Whitaker said. "I got strep throat and wasn't able to play for the team."

Unfortunately, Whitaker dislocated his left shoulder about a month ago, and was told by doctors that there is a 90 percent chance that he could dislocate it again unless he underwent surgery. Whitaker has elected to wait on surgery in hopes of making the team.

"I've got a couple of different braces that I'm going to try out," Whitaker said. "I'm hoping to tough it out."

While Whitaker will attempt to fight through the pain, it might be easier said than done. The grueling camp schedule will feature practices from 8 to 11 a.m., then again from 2 to 5 p.m., followed by a scrimmage.

"Man it's harsh up there," Whitaker said. "When you get done for the day, you are just dead, dog tired."

To prepare for the extreme demand on his body, Whitaker has been running four miles every day and working on his shooting during his lunch break.

"I am going to bust my butt up there," Whitaker said. "The competition is pretty stiff."