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460th CPTS Airman makes third appearance on AF basketball team

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- James Lewis of the 460th Comptroller Squadron, soars toward the hoop against the Air Force Academy prep team here Jan. 28.  Lewis is currently at Warner-Robins AFB, Ga., preparing for the All Services Tournament in Millington, Tenn., May 10-18. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Bush)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- James Lewis of the 460th Comptroller Squadron, soars toward the hoop against the Air Force Academy prep team here Jan. 28. Lewis is currently at Warner-Robins AFB, Ga., preparing for the All Services Tournament in Millington, Tenn., May 10-18. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Bush)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Making the Air Force basketball team the first time is no easy task but one Senior Airman proved the task was no challenge for him. 

James Lewis, a customer service technician with the 460th Comptroller Squadron is in his third year playing for the Air Force basketball team. His journey started at tryouts held here in 2007. 

"I was so nervous trying out the first year because everything was new, they didn't know me at all," said Lewis. "I had to worry about them giving me the ball so I could have the opportunity to show what I could do." 

Lewis was given the opportunity as well as the support of the team. The coaches were impressed with his playing skills and asked him to keep moving on in the tryouts and in the end success was sweet. 

"Making the team made me so happy," Lewis said. "After I was congratulated by the team I called my mom and my sisters." 

Earning a spot on the team meant he was moving onto the All Services Tournament held at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., and possibly move onto the All Services Team to compete overseas. Although he only played an average of three minutes a game he still contributed to the team's gold medal showing but was unable to make it to the next tier- the All Services Team. 

"The coaches told me you earned a spot on the team but you aren't just going to come out here and get playing time your first game," Lewis said. "The way you took your spot is the same way you have to take your playing time." 

The following year he was one of the top leading scorers at the same tournament held at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa, carrying his team to another gold medal finish. The All Services Team was so close he could taste it but a poke in the eye with a possible torn retina held him back from yet again making the team. 

Airman Lewis, called "Pit Bull" by his teammates, is currently at Warner Robins Air Force Base, Ga., practicing with the team for this year's tournament being held in Millington, Tenn., May 10-18. He has two goals this year, win a three-peat gold medal and make the All Services Team for the first time.
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