'Hoops with the Troops': Kids tour ship, play basketball at SF Fleet Week event

J.R. Stone Image
Tuesday, October 3, 2023
Kids tour ship, play 'Hoops with the Troops' at SF Fleet Week event
As a part of 'Hoops with the Troops' during SF's Fleet Week, kids got to play basketball with Navy Sailors and Marines from the USS John P. Murtha.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Fleet Week is now underway in San Francisco and on Monday evening a special Hoops with the Troops event was held on Piers 30 through 32.

In the shadow of the USS John P. Murtha, the Bay Bridge, and downtown San Francisco basketballs were bouncing for the annual Fleet Week basketball clinic.

"Helicopter right there and it's just amazing, playing with the ship right there next to me!" said 11-year-old King Williams of San Francisco.

RELATED: San Francisco Fleet Week 2023 schedule of events

"It's super cool because having the ship in the background and playing with all the older people, it's super fun," said 11-year-old Joseph Arrow of San Francisco.

Those 'older people' were the Academy of Art basketball players who were dunking on hoops, and the Navy Sailors and Marines who stay on the John P. Murtha. They were all together for a Fleet Week, that was just days ago in jeopardy over a possible government shutdown.

"One thing about the military is we're always supposed to be ready, so whether you come or don't come you're ready," said Priscilla Alegre who is a Marine from Miami, Florida.

Young Williams says he's ready too, but in his case, he's ready to ball.

VIDEO: San Francisco Fleet Week kicks off with emergency preparedness exercise

To kick off Fleet Week, the San Francisco Dept. of Emergency Management held their annual emergency preparedness drill.

"I do hoop a lot and I really am trying to go to the NBA and make my dream to play basketball," said Williams.

And while this event was about having fun for all ages, ABC7 News received word Monday that 63 marines arrived in San Francisco after a deployment more than 7,000 miles away in the Federated States of Micronesia.

"It's great to be home, it was fun, it was intense, it was very busy, Marines love being busy so no complaints but by the end it was nice to be back home," said Commanding Officer Lt. Colonel Robert Hillery of the Marine Corps.

And they're back in the USA for San Francisco's Fleet Week.

RELATED: Fleet Week: Best places to view the Blue Angels according to locals

"Anything else about San Francisco that you're really hoping to see while you're here?" ABC7 News asked one young sailor.

"Alcatraz! My dad has been here before so he told me to go visit Alcatraz!" said Kevin Iscoa who is a Navy Sailor from Los Angeles.

"Definitely proud to be American. There's a lot of countries that don't have what we have," said Ashton Howard who plays basketball on the Academy of Art University basketball team.

Not only did these kids from the Boys and Girls Club get to play basketball with the military men and women who serve our country, but they also got a tour of the USS John P. Murtha afterwards.

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