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Sgt. Stefawn Payne and Lance Cpl. Travon Keahey, both members of the Marine Corps Air Station men's basketball team, guard a player from the Hawaii team as he attempts to drive it towards the basket during the 2009 West Regional Men's Basketball Tournament April 14. Miramar placed second overall in the tournament.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Ryan A. Rholes

Marine athletes gather at Miramar for 2009 Men's West Coast Regional Basketball Tournament

24 Apr 2009 | Lance Cpl. Ryan A. Rholes

For the first time in several years, basketball teams from bases across the Western region, including Hawaii, gathered at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar to test their skills during the 2009 West Coast Men’s Regional Basketball Tournament.

Seven teams competed in the tournament, which lasted from April 12 to 17, with games played in both the Miramar Sports Complex and the Semper Fit Center.

“The main purpose of this tournament is to get each base’s most talented players together, so we can find candidates to represent the Marine Corps at the Armed Forces Basketball tournament,” said Todd Howard, the tournament director and MCAS Miramar’s assistant sports coordinator.

Christopher Crawford, the assistant coach of the all-Marine team, attended the tournament to review players for selection to the team’s trial camp. Bob Stopp announced Crawford’s selections at the end of the tournament awards ceremony, which immediately followed the finals in the Semper Fit Gym Friday.

The first three days of the tournament consisted of round-robin play, which allowed all teams to play each other for seeding purposes. Teams began playing the single-elimination portion of the tournament April 16 and finished with the semi-finals and finals on April 17.

“Of all the tournaments I’ve been involved with, this one was probably one of the most enjoyable,” said Bob Stopp, the tournament operations officer. “Both of the players and coaches, were absolute gentlemen.”

If there were any issues on the court, they left it on the court, added Howard. We didn’t have any problems from the players at all.

Coaches gathered after the tournament to vote on independent awards. They selected five players from various teams as the all-tournament team. Two of the five players selected were: Lance Cpl. Travon D. Keahey and Sgt. Stefawn Payne, who both played for MCAS Miramar.

The top two teams earned individual medals, trophies and the third place team received a plaque.

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton faced MCAS Miramar in the finals, winning with a commanding lead. MCB Camp Pendleton Division took third, beating Hawaii by only two points.

Players chosen to possibly join the all-tournament team began practice Monday at a two week all-Marine basketball trial camp hosted at MCB Camp Pendleton.


3rd Marine Aircraft Wing