Saber makes All Air Force basketball team

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jovante Johnson
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

A hoop dream usually turns out to be just what the name says ‘a dream’ but for one of our Sabers that dream is close to becoming a reality.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Aaron Reams, 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Command Support Staff NCO in charge of outbound assignments, had a dream to play basketball and never gave up. The All Air Force basketball team invited him to join them for an annual basketball tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, earlier this year for the second time since 2013.

Reams played high school basketball and at the collegiate level. During his time in high school, Reams and his teammates became the fourth best team in the state of Illinois. After graduating, Reams chose to attend Elgin Community College to join their basketball program, despite several offers from Division One track programs.

“Basketball is something I have always loved,” said Reams. “Track was something that others wanted me to do, but my passion was in basketball from a young age.”

Service members from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and from around the globe were invited to the 2019 Men’s Basketball tournament. Of the 260 people who tried out for the Air Force team, 24 were chosen for a closer look, and 12 went to Jacksonville for the tournament.

“This is my second year making the All Air Force team, but making the base team for the first time was something I will never forget,” Reams continued. “In order to make the All Air Force team I had to first make the base team. I had five minutes to prove myself to U.S. Air Force retired Master Sgt. Mark Esquer, Travis Air Force Base basketball coach at the time. I got an ‘alley-oop’ from one of my teammates, caught it with one hand, and dunked it. The rest is history.”

Arguably two of the greatest basketball players ever inspired Reams to love the sport. Another basketball great is who he models his game after on the court.

“Allen Iverson and Michael Jordan are the main reasons I got into basketball and who I looked up to as a kid,” Reams continued. “They had the type of game that drew me in. Now when I play, Lebron James is who I try to replicate my game after. He effortlessly gets his teammates involved and he can also score when he needs to.”

Getting ready for the tournament consisted of several self-work outs before going to training camp practices at Joint Base San Antonio Air Force Base three times a day for a month before the seven-day tournament.

To Reams’ disappointment it was the all Navy team that took home the win.

“Next year our goal is to bring home the gold and take back what’s ours from the Navy,” said Reams.

Character plays a huge part in forming the type of player someone is and how impactful they can be on and off the court. Reams’ consistent never-give-up, upbeat, positive attitude is what gains the attention of all those around him.

“SSgt. Reams has been here with us for a year and he is our go-to person,” said U.S. Air Force MSgt. Felicia Roderick, 52nd AMXS Commander Support Staff section chief. “He is a hard worker, good trainer, constantly keeps a positive attitude, and is an exemplary role model for those around him. It would be ideal to have all NCOs like him.”

Reams’ constant dedication shows on a daily basis and has led to a contract with a semi-pro basketball team in Kaiserslautern, Germany. The team practices four times a week for two hours. They play a 30-game season in one of the highest level basketball leagues currently played in Germany.

“I owe my success to a lot of people that have helped me along the way,” said Reams. “U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Ricardo Bachelor at Whiteman Air Force Base and U.S. Air Force retired MSgt. Mark Esquer, worked tirelessly with me to improve my game and I cannot thank them enough. They took me under their wing and tremendously helped improve my game as well as me as a person.”