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The HEAT is on at Hurlburt Field
LeBron James, Miami HEAT forward, right, prepares to dunk a basketball as fellow teammates Dwyane Wade, left, and Chris Bosh, center, watch during a preseason practice session at the Aderholt Fitness Center at Hurlburt Field, Fla., Sept. 28, 2010. The team requested the use of the fitness center for their week-long training camp, and 1st Special Operations Wing leadership agreed to support the visit. (DoD photo by U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Sheila deVera) (RELEASED)
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HEAT is on at Hurlburt Field

Posted 9/28/2010   Updated 9/28/2010 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Joe McFadden
1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

9/28/2010 - HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- On the same court where special operations Airmen conduct physical training, the Miami HEAT, a National Basketball Association team, kicked off their preseason training camp at the Aderholt Fitness Center on Hurlburt Field, Sept. 28.

The week-long camp also marks the first time the team has taken training camp outside of Southern Florida in franchise history, as well as the first time some of the players have practiced under the same coach and team name.

"The only differences [of practicing here] are the choppers and airplanes outside and the military guys here," said Chris Bosh, HEAT forward, about practicing on a military installation. "But we're big on the same things, like teamwork, and that's part of the reason we're here. We can learn from the military environment and bring discipline to an organization. I honor and respect them, and we wouldn't be here without them."

The HEAT flew into Eglin Air Force Base the night of Sept. 27, and hundreds of Airmen, civilians and basketball fans-alike, greeted them.

"We had a long day, but coming in to that reception was awesome," said Dwyane Wade, HEAT guard. "We're thankful for them letting us be here and give us an opportunity to train side-by-side by some of the best people. It's an honor and privilege to be here."

Mr. Wade said his team was excited to be back on the basketball court and gain a new perspective into the work the men and women of the Air Force do every day.

"This is very important for us to get a better understanding of what really goes on and the very difficult and vital job that our military does for us," he said. "We want to get out and show our appreciation, and we look forward to it."

With the same focus on teamwork and drive, Miami HEAT members cited the military's drive for excellence as very similar to that of a professional basketball team.

"The military goes by a strong core and a strong base," said LeBron James, HEAT forward. "They have things in place like commitment, being in a tight-knit group and not letting any distractions get in front of their game plan. Hopefully, we can implement that into our season."

Apart from the twice-daily practice sessions at the Aderholt, the team will participate in a guided tour of the installation and visit with Hurlburt Airmen.

"It's really humbling to be around these people," Mr. James said. "The things they do for us allow us to have freedom. They put their lives on the line every day and night, and give us an opportunity to do what we love like playing the game of basketball, waking up every day and being free. I have much respect for them."

The team requested the use of the fitness center and Soundside Lodging Sept. 15, and 1st Special Operations Wing leadership agreed to support the visit, at no extra costs to the base.

"We at Hurlburt Field have a proud tradition of excellence, sacrifice and commitment. Our world-class Airmen and facilities guarantee we can answer the call - any time, any place," said Col. Michael Plehn, 1st SOW commander. "We know the Miami HEAT share this same commitment to excellence. This is why we're pleased to support their request to use our facilities for their 2010 training camp." 

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