Harlem Globetrotter Visits USS Abraham Lincoln

USS Lincoln

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- Anthony "Buckets" Blakes, a member of the world famous Harlem Globetrotters, judged a slam dunk competition and played a variation on the game of "HORSE" against Capt. Randall Peck, executive officer aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) at Huntington Hall, Feb. 20.

The event was sponsored by Morale, Welfare and Recreation, which also donated a laptop computer to the winner of the slam dunk contest. The dunk contest consisted of three elimination rounds. Participants had 30 seconds to complete a dunk. "Buckets" scored the dunks on a 10-point scale.

Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Michael Mills flew above the rim and ran away with the contest.

Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Michael Jameson advanced to the final round with a solid display of high-flying dunks, but Mills' athleticism put him over the top, according to Blakes, who emphasized the importance of interacting with the naval community.

"We love putting them out on the basketball court to show them a little piece of home, take their minds off their duties for two hours and have some Globetrotters fun and magic with them," Blakes said.

Chief Yeoman Ryan Bolton, who coordinated the event, was excited to welcome such a prominent force in the world of sports to the command.

"I think it means a lot," Bolton said. "Building that alliance between the Navy and outside entities, building amongst each other and doing what we do to make this community a better place."

After the dunk contest, Peck and Blakes faced off in a twist on the classic game of HORSE--NAVY. Peck and Blakes took turns attempting shots which the other would have to match.

Peck jumped out to an early three-letter lead, but Blakes stormed back and tied it. Eventually, Blakes hit a 12-foot bank shot to seal the win.

Blakes was "pleasantly surprised" by Peck's talent and by the other Sailors in the dunk contest.

"You guys have some leapers out there," Blakes said. "There were some amazing dunks, some 360's and some two-handed windmills, something that I didn't expect to see. You guys have some talent here for sure."

The Harlem Globetrotters are an organization known for their humanitarian efforts, and Blakes plans to continue to uphold that tradition.

"It's very important to do things like this for the Sailors, not only for me but for our organization as well," Blakes said. "You guys go out and protect our freedoms, and give us the freedom to have all these wonderful venues to make people laugh and smile."

Lincoln is currently undergoing refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Lincoln is the fifth ship of the Nimitz class to undergo an RCOH, a major life-cycle milestone. Once RCOH is complete, Lincoln will be one of the most modern and technologically advanced Nimitz-class aircraft carriers in the fleet and will continue to be a vital part of the nation's defense.

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