WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB — A multi-million dollar military airplane was kicked out of its six-story tall hangar for a basketball game on Sunday, Sept. 30, and nobody seemed to mind.
The NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers held their annual Wine & Gold basketball scrimmage on Sunday, except this time they held it away from their Quicken Loans Arena home. They packed up their basketball court floor and trucked it down Interstate 71 to WPAFB’s Hangar 4016.
After a morning of touring the air base, and with a C-17 military transport plane looking on, the team held its annual scrimmage before approximately 1,300 military personnel and their families.
“This is a day where everybody wins,” said Col. Thomas P. Sherman, the 88th Air Base Wing and Installation Commander. “It was a great opportunity for us to sit down together, and to give some of our young men and women, and people that work here and live on the base, to just sit down and break some bread and talk. To talk about our commonalities, some of the things that bind us and bring us together.”
While the Cavs coaches enjoyed the experience of learning from and talking with the base leaders, the players themselves were having their own fun.
“This is amazing! I hope we do this again,” Cavalier guard John Holland said, moments after signing a young fan’s T-shirt and running out onto the court to cheers.
During the pre-game shoot around, Cavs forwards Larry Nance Jr. and Cedi Osman went across the court from where the other Cleveland players were and shot with members of the WPAFB men’s and women’s club teams.
Before the scrimmage, Cavs coach Tyronn Lue invited fans to come out and shoot shots on the actual Quicken Loans Arena court.
“Our guys are very excited to be here. This is the ultimate team, the armed forces. It’s the ultimate team, and it was good for us to see things and how they come together as one unit,” Lue said. “I asked the commander a lot of questions today, I kinda wore him out I think. But it was an amazing experience. I’m excited to be here and to share this experience with those guys.”
Cavs General Manager Koby Altman truly appreciated the experience for himself and the Cavs organization.
“I want to thank the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Colonel Sherman has been unbelievable for us since we got off the bus,” Altman said. “It’s been an incredible experience for our team and our franchise.
“This is the coolest thing we’ve ever done. Easily one of the coolest things we’ve ever done.”