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Air Force Takes Bronze in Wheelchair Basketball

By Air Force Staff Sgt. Paul Croxon
Defense Media Activity-San Antonio

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 13, 2010 – With a 13-10 victory over Navy, the Air Force earned the bronze medal in wheelchair basketball yesterday in the inaugural Warrior Games at the U.S. Olympic Training Center here.

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Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Damian Orslene celebrates after the Warrior Games bronze medal wheelchair basketball victory over Navy in Warrior Games competition at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 12, 2010. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Griffin
  

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After being thumped by the Marine Corps in their first game of the tournament, the Air Force bounced back May 11 to beat Navy in the second game. The Air Force team faced the Army and lost before earning the bronze by handing Navy a loss in their second meeting.

The medal-clinching match proved to be harder-won than the first.

“We’ve faced the Air Force twice and lost twice,” Navy head coach Mark Heniser said. “They’re a good team, and this game was much closer than the first.”

The Air Force and Navy were tied at 10 with 1:25 left in the second half. A basket put the Air Force ahead, but a free throw by former Air Force Staff Sgt. Matt Sanders with 2.7 seconds remaining sealed the Navy team’s fate.

Sanders noted that the game’s rewards weren’t limited to the medal.

“Hey, we worked hard,” he said. “Even if we didn’t get the bronze, we had a good time, and the whole purpose behind this is to come together -- camaraderie, Air Force, hooah -- and do our best.”

The medal will be presented today after the Marine Corps and Army teams face off in the gold-medal game.

 

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Related Sites:
Special Report: Warrior Games
Warrior Games on Facebook

Click photo for screen-resolution imageA Navy basketball player races down the court during the Warrior Games bronze medal wheelchair basketball game against Air Force at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 12, 2010. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Griffin  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageA Navy basketball player looks for an open teammate during the Warrior Games bronze medal wheelchair basketball match against Air Force at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 12, 2010. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Griffin  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageA Navy basketball player looks for an open teammate during the Warrior Games bronze medal wheelchair basketball game against Air Force at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 12, 2010. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Griffin  
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