LaVontis Williams, of the 3rd Brigade Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, remembers watching the NBA slam-dunk contest closely as a child.

He remembers watching current Dallas Maverick Vince Carter break onto the scene and unleash a new kind of “Vinsanity” onto the NBA scene during All-Star Weekend’s main event.

There may not have been any 360-degree windmill jams or strong throw downs after taking a pass between the legs, but there was plenty of fun to be had Friday at Fort Hood’s March Madness Slam Dunk Contest at the courts behind the Abrams Physical Fitness Center.

“My timing was a little off, but I did alright,” Williams said with a smile.

The slam-dunk contest was hosted by Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation and was free and open to all Defense Department ID card holders. March Madness also included a 3-on-3 basketball tournament and a 3-point shooting contest.

For Williams, the contest made him feel like a kid again trying to emulate Carter.

“When Vince Carter was in it, it was better,” Williams said about the NBA’s version of the contest.

For Pvt. Eric Worthen, of 62nd Signal Battalion, 11th Signal Brigade, there is no sensation in basketball like getting up in the air for a jam.

The 6-foot-2 former Swainsboro, Ga., High School player remembers getting up in the air for the first time and getting hooked on the feeling of flying through the air to the rim.

“When I got taller, I just started abusing it,” Worthen recalled. “It just jumped higher and higher every day.”

Sgt. Steven Mueller, of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, also participated in the contest and welcomed the opportunity to get outside, get airborne and above all, have some fun.

The 6-foot-3 native of Minnesota said he welcomes having more events like he slam-dunk contest.

“It was fun, a good change of pace from the Army mundane stuff,” Mueller said. “Any chance to do some competitive sports I love it.”

Contact Albert Alvarado at

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