Intramural basketball season ‘tips off’

Airman Edward Drescher
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***The Ramstein Intramural Basketball League started Monday and Air Force teams from the KMC will compete all season for a shot at the championship.

“Intramural basketball is a huge part of the Ramstein intramural program,” said Isaac Melendez, 435th Services Squadron intramural director. “These guys look forward to playing ball everyday.”

The intramurals are divided into three different leagues consisting of the regular league, the over 30 league and the women’s league.

The regular league is made up of 20 teams and is broken into the National and American leagues. The National League is for units that have more than 150 members and the American League is made up of units with fewer than 150 members.

The Over 30 league is made up of nine teams and the women’s league has three teams.

All intramural games are played at the Ramstein and Vogelweh Fitness and Sports Centers.

For two months teams will try to compile the best record they can to earn the top seed in the playoffs.

All teams in each league make the playoffs and will be seeded according to their regular season record.

***image2***Last year’s intramural champions, the U.S. Air Forces in Europe Theater Aerospace Center team, will return this year as the Air Forces Europe team.

“I feel pretty good about our team this year,” said Capt. Victor Norris, USAFE command center officer in charge and player on the AFEUR team.

Although they lost one of there best players, the AFEUR team has two new big men to fill the hole and all their big scorers are returning, said Captain Norris.

Although intramural basketball breeds competition and rivalries, it also builds unity.

“Intramurals are great; they build unit pride and give us a chance to bond outside of work,” said Captain Norris who spends much of the games coaching on the sideline.

During the February playoffs, a bracket is setup in which the top team plays the lowest seeded team. The playoffs are single elimination format until there are only four teams remaining, and then it goes into a double elimination format.

The intramural basketball season brings a great opportunity for competition and a good time. It also is a good way to stay in shape, said Captain Norris.