Story by Devin Doskey on 06/21/2019Earlier this month, one of Malmstrom's Airmen had the chance to compete in the 2019 Armed Forces Basketball Championship held at Naval Air Station Mayport in Jacksonville, Fla.
Capt. Madelaine Ross, 10th Missile Squadron flight commander, represented Wing One as a member of the All-Air Force women's basketball team.
Making the team was no easy task. Ross has been playing basketball since she was 11 years old and had competed as a collegiate athlete for four years.
The team had more than 70 applicants, 28 of which were invited to tryouts at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
"We all entered the trial camp and competed against each other for a spot on the final roster," said Ross, "In two short weeks, we learned how to play to each other's strengths and play as a team.
"The trial camp was physically exhausting. The first week we focused on conditioning and endurance," said Ross. "The second week we improved our basketball skills and learned to work together as a unit."
At the end of the two-week trial, 28 candidates were narrowed to 12. Ross had made the final roster, and with it, a chance to play against other all-service teams at the Armed Forces Basketball Championship.
"It was so rewarding making the team," said Ross. "Everyone at tryouts pushed through and challenged themselves and each other.
The team was comprised of Air Force members from different backgrounds and careers, most of whom played collegiate basketball," said Ross. I enjoyed getting to know everyone and play with them," she continued. "The level of talent was amazing to play against and to watch."
Military relationships are built on tight-knit bonds and camaraderie, and the experience within the Armed Forces basketball season was no different, according to Ross.
"I feel humbled and honored to have such a unique experience," said Ross, "I had a huge sense of pride wearing the uniform representing the Air Force and this country while playing against service members from the other branches."
Though her season with the All-Air Force women's basketball team is over for 2019, Ross aspires to continue competing next year.
In order to accomplish this goal, she will have to balance her active duty responsibilities with her training and conditioning.
"It can be difficult at times, but exercise and basketball are an important part of my life," said Ross. "Staying productive allows me to accomplish my professional and personal goals."
"To all the Airmen on the precipice of success, don't let the fear of the unknown stop you Work hard, have heart and take advantage of any opportunities you can." Ross added.