Hoop Dreams

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Colby L. Hardin
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
She once had dreams of scoring points as a profession and serving defenders on the court. Now she needs points for promotion while serving her country.

Senior Airman Emery Buckner, 22nd Force Support Squadron customer support journeyman, enjoys doing what she does as a military personnelist, but she still enjoys getting back on the court and playing basketball.

"I can use basketball to relax and calm my nerves," said Buckner. "Especially when the work here starts to get a little too intense."

Emery was a top player in her state during her high school career. During her senior year she managed to average 23 points per game which ranked 7th in the state of Georgia and also ranked 3rd in the state in assist per game.
Buckner had a good chance to play college basketball at a high level, receiving scholarships from Division 1 schools, and the possibility to take her career even further.

But Emery felt like she wasn't making a big enough difference, she turned down the offers and decided to join the Air Force.

"I didn't want basketball to define me," added Buckner. "I knew I was really good at it, but I knew that I wanted to do something that helped more people and prove I was more than just an athlete."

Buckner had the opportunity to travel and play basketball while stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, where she experienced a different style of playing basketball.

"The biggest difference is that they were a lot more physical," Buckner said. "They weren't as flashy either, mostly about fundamentals."

Buckner wasted no time getting here and showing off her talents. She made her presence known during pick-up games at the base gym.

"When I first saw Emery play, I noticed she had a nice jump shot," said Airman 1st Class Benjamin Dunn, 22nd Maintenance Group maintenance operations scheduler. "I also noticed that she was very good at handling the ball."

One thing stays the same for Buckner on and off the court, the teamwork that it takes to win a game or do her job in the Air Force.

"My job doesn't get done unless we have everybody working together to do their part," Buckner said. "We're customer support, so we need happy people willing to do what it takes to get the job done."

With the intramural basketball season starting up, expect to see Emery on the court showing off her teamwork and skill. Even though her day job is to help people, it hurts to play against her on the court.