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Army Women Take Basketball Crown, Pro-Am Team Picked

By Rudi Williams
American Forces Press Service

POPE AIR FORCE BASE, N.C., April 29, 1998 – The Army women's basketball team made a 4-0 run to capture its seventh consecutive Armed Forces Women's Basketball Championship here April 1-3.

Air Force women finished second with a record of 2 wins and 2 losses. Navy women were third at 2-2. The Marine Corps team was fourth with a 1-3 record.

"We dominated the competition," said Army Coach Sgt. 1st Class Johnnie B. Pickett, Fort Hood, Texas. "We were dominant because we had a deep, talented bench. I've had some good teams over the years, but this team was something special. Any one of the players could have been a starter -- that was the difference."

"The Army has won 18 out of 20 gold medals in women's basketball," said Pickett.

Officials selected the top players from the four services for a first-ever armed forces basketball team in the National Pro-Am Tournament in Las Vegas, April 14-19. Pickett coached the squad.

"We made it to the semifinals in the pro-am," Pickett said. "Since this was the first year an armed forces team played in the pro-am, I think we did well. We won 2 and lost 2; lost the first game to Chicago, then bounced back with two victories against teams from Inglewood, Calif., and Houston."

Sgt. Sylvia D. Smith, Spec. Felicia V. Griffin, Capt. Candice M. Tillman, Pfc. Coretta Chenault, Staff Sgt. Cassandra M. Howard and Sgt. Sharon E. Lyons represented the Army.

Staff Sgt. Cristina Julius and Tech. Sgt. Meledey Bland represented the Air Force. Navy Fireman Hazel Carrington and Petty Officer 3rd Class Mildred Constan and Marine Corps Cpl. Sharon Murray rounded out the military pro-am team.

Pro-Am teams are composed of professional and amateur players from cities across the nation, Pickett said.

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