Professional basketball players visit USS Arizona Memorial

DeAndre Jordan, basketball player for the Los Angeles Clippers, listens to a brief history of Dec. 7, 1941 on the USS Arizona Memorial.

Ensign Makeedra Hayes

Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

Photos by MC1 Meranda Keller, Navy Public Affairs Support Element Detachment Hawaii

Players from the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team accompanied military service members on a tour of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and the USS Arizona Memorial, Sept. 27.

While on Oahu for their pre-season training camp, the entire Clippers basketball team, coaches and staff took part in a tour of Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial. Along with the team, service members from all branches of the military met at Merry Point Landing at JBPHH to board a vessel that took them to the memorial.

Los Angeles Clippers and Joint Base service members take part in the tour.

On the boat ride over to the memorial, players and service members were given a brief history lesson by James Neuman, Navy Region Hawaii historian. They learned about not only the base but also the importance of the USS Arizona Memorial and the Dec. 7, 1941 attack. In addition to the history lesson, players were able to meet service members in today’s military from all services, and all different ranks.

Los Angeles Clippers and Joint Base service members take part in the tour.

“Often times we do not realize the sacrifice people have made for our freedom,” said head coach Doc Rivers. “People take it for granted, but being here with all these men and women in uniform and standing on this memorial reminds us of that sacrifice.”

Blake Griffin, basketball player for the Los Angeles Clippers, photographs the USS Arizona BB-39 casualty list in the shrine room on the USS Arizona Memorial.

When the boat arrived at the memorial, the players and service members were able to read stories and learn about the USS Arizona. In addition, Neuman continued his history lesson in the shrine room, speaking about the architecture of the memorial and the significance of all the names on the wall. He explained that those USS Arizona Sailors who survived the Dec. 7 attack could come back and be interred with their shipmates after they pass away.

“What really hit home for me was the idea that the survivors have the opportunity to come back and be laid to rest with their brothers when they pass away,” said DeAndre Jordan, Clippers’ starting center.

According to Rivers, the tour gave the team the opportunity to learn from the service members, both past and present.

“Having the opportunity to be on this tour is great for the team,” Rivers said. “I want to thank the men and women who made this tour possible, and thank those who serve today.”

Players from the Los Angeles Clippers and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam service members participate in the tour.

Service members explain the history of the USS Arizona to basketball player Blake Griffin.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • RSS

Category: Life & Leisure