Spangdahlem's men, women basketball teams earn international titles

The Spangdahlem’s men and women’s basketball teams pose with their first-place trophies at the Eifel Powerhaus April 7, 2014 after competing in the 2014 United States Army Garrison European International Basketball Tournament March 21-23. The teams earned the number one spot in a total of five tournaments and a combined total of 60 games scoring more than 2,200 points. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Alexis Siekert/Released)

The Spangdahlem’s men and women’s basketball teams pose with their first-place trophies at the Eifel Powerhaus April 7, 2014 after competing in the 2014 United States Army Garrison European International Basketball Tournament March 21-23. The teams earned the number one spot in a total of five tournaments and a combined total of 60 games scoring more than 2,200 points. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Alexis Siekert/Released)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- Proximity to other nations and cultures can present a unique opportunity for service members stationed in Europe. A group of basketball players from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, traveled throughout Germany and Italy to represent the base in a competition against teams from other European bases.

The men's and women's varsity basketball teams competed in the 2014 United States Army Garrison European Invitational Basketball Tournament March 21-23. The Lady Sabers eliminated five women's teams in seven games, and the men took out 10 teams in eight games for the number one spot as USAG's 2014 European Invitational Basketball Tournament champions.

"Since October, these Airmen and spouses have been representing Spangdahlem proudly all over Germany and for the first time in Italy, in a total of five tournaments and a combined total of 60 games scoring more than 2,200 points," said 2nd Lt. Latetia Bland, 52nd Force Support Squadron food services officer in charge and team participant. "They have exhibited great sportsmanship, great team work and the utmost professionalism in every mile that they have traveled to play."

Between games, practices and training, the team conducted fundraisers, participated in volunteer opportunities with the wing, and participated in pick-up games with local national German teams in the area, Bland said.

"When it comes to embodying the 52nd Fighter Wing, both teams have given great efforts in exhibiting the three pillars: Mission, Airmen and Community," she said. "Not only do these team members support the mission in their service and commitment to their careers or spouses' careers, but they enhance their personal skills and fitness to greater impact our mission's effectiveness."

Men's Team- Senior Master Sgt. Rickie Frost, Staff Sgt. James Lewis, Rod Denson, Master Sgt. Tharin Payne, Staff Sgt. Tyren Ball, Staff Sgt. David Hendrix, Senior Airman Odarrie King, Reggie Thompson, Staff Sgt. Andrew Lomax, Staff Sgt. Taylor Swank, Senior Airman Christopher Malcolm, Staff Sgt. Kristen Chambliss

Women's Team- Coach David Hendrix, Coach Sharon Hendrix, Coach James Lewis, 2nd Lt. Latetia Bland, Staff Sgt. Brianna Flores, Airman 1st Class Mika Pajas, Senior Airman Shawnte Gholson, Senior Airman Katelyn Camacho Yau, Airman 1st Class Nicole Holman, Laina Whittier, Senior Airman Jasmine Williams, Erica Poole, April Freeman, Airman 1st Class Emery Buckner