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Miami HEAT
Dwyane Wade, a Miami HEAT player, sets up for a jump shot as a player runs in to block during a scrimmage at the Aderholt Fitness Center, Hurlburt Field, Fla., Oct. 1, 2010. The HEAT took time out from their training camp to display their skills in front of more than 500 Hurlburt and Eglin Air Force Base Airmen, DoD Civilians and dependents. (DoD Photo by Staff Sgt. Stephanie Jacobs/RELEASED)
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MIAMI HEAT ends historic training camp

Posted 10/13/2010   Updated 10/13/2010 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Sarah Martinez
1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

10/13/2010 - HURLBURT FIELD, Fla.  -- The thrill is gone, and it's back to business as usual. The Miami HEAT, an NBA team, left Hurlburt Field Oct. 3, almost as quickly as they came.

While conducting their 2010 training camp at the Aderholt Fitness Center, the Miami HEAT players interacted with the Airmen and learned a lot about the various jobs and the Air Force Special Operations Command and 1st Special Operations Wing missions.

"Just the experience of being here and understanding what this base and other bases around the world are about, is amazing," said LeBron James, Miami HEAT small forward.

Both the HEAT and Hurlburt Field Airmen conveyed a lot of respect for one another. Miami HEAT's slam dunks and three pointers wowed the Airmen and the HEAT expressed appreciation for the sacrifice and discipline shown by each and every military member.

"I'm real proud of the job they do," said Carlos Arroyo, Miami HEAT point guard. "They're representing this country with a great amount of honor and we truly respect them."

During the Miami HEAT's downtime, they toured the base and met with different units and their staff.

Facilities like the Youth Center, Demonstration of International Terrorism range and the flight line opened their doors to HEAT players to give them insight on what the base does on a day to day basis.

"I always wanted to be in the Air Force," said Dexter Pittman, Miami HEAT center. "I love planes and wanted to be a pilot, but for now I'm simulating it by playing video games."

When the Miami HEAT team and staff finished their tour around base they decided to end their week long training camp with an open scrimmage at the Aderholt Fitness Center Oct. 1.

Bodies filled the bleachers and during the game screaming and cheering could be heard from Airmen and their families. Cameras flashed and clicked during the entire event as people captured their favorite players in action.

"I've been watching Dwyane Wade play for a while now and to see him play with Chris Bosh and LeBron James ... it's a sight to see," said Senior Airman David Freeman, HEAT fan.

As the bleachers emptied and the players rode away on their bus, fans walked away with smiles and memories they'll never forget.

Hurlburt Field, Eglin Air Force Base and the Miami HEAT experienced a historic, once-in-a-lifetime event. The HEAT team wowed Hurlburt Airmen, but the players and staff of Miami HEAT seemed just as, or perhaps even more, delighted by the base and its mission.

"You all consider us as heroes but we actually consider you all as heroes because you all protect us," Mr. Pittman said. "I think it's important for us to give back to the people who are protecting us so we can live a safe, happy life in America."

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