Brooklyn Nets players coach basketball game at Fort Hamilton.

Veteran players: Veterans and state active duty service members faced off against each other, playing on the Join Task Force Empire Shield and Reserve Recruit and Command teams at a Nov. 13 basketball game at Fort Hamilton.
Photo by Jason Speakman

These Nets stars helped the troops hit the hoops!

Brooklyn veterans and active duty service members played a close game of basketball at the Fort Hamilton gym on Nov. 13, in an event made even more special by the guest coaches and referee — Brooklyn Nets players Quincy Acy, Trevor Booker, and Spencer Dinwiddie. The special guests made the game a memorable one, according to one player, who added that the presence of the Nets players gave the amateur athletes a boost.

“I think it built the morale of the service members, for them to know that we have the support of the professional players, as well as of the rest of the community,” said Master Sergeant Ernest Bonner, who played on the Joint Task Force Empire Shield team, coached by Acy.

The 16-man team played — and lost to — Dinwiddie’s 12-man Reserve Recruit and Command team, which won the game by a point. The final score was 147-146.

And Booker even refereed the referees, making sure the professional referees made fair calls, according to Bonner.

“He was great, he was interactive with the players,” Bonner said of Booker. “He stood up for us when there were bad calls made.”

The annual event was organized by the Fort Hamilton gym staff and Command Sergeant Major Javier Lugo, according to Bonner.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.

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