Smiles filled a basketball court in front of the USS John P. Murtha on Monday as kids played basketball in this year's "Hoops with the Troops" event.
It was a chance for kids with the Boys & Girls Club to hoop with marines, sailors and the men's and women's basketball teams with the Academy of Art University.
"It feels great to be here," said King Williams, a student with the Boys & Girls Club.
He came ready to play basketball, and one of the first things he noticed was the USS John P. Murtha.
"The ship is really big. Even walking here, it's really big," Williams said.
Kindred Heard is a master chief with the Navy. He said he grew up going to the Boys & Girls Club, so being a part of this was important for him.
"Many times, they may look at this ship like it's larger than life, something from Transformers," Heard said. "Any time we can bring this down to their level, we're human. We came from where you came from; we can give kids a neat perspective."
For basketball players like Quintin Metcalf, it was a similar feeling.
"It feels good because I grew up around older basketball players, it always felt like I'm trying to be like them one day. I'm just glad I can motivate these kids," Metcalf said.
When kids got on the court, some surrounded Metcalf asking him how old he was and asking if he could help them dunk the ball.
"The fact that I can come out here, lift a couple of kids up, show them what it's like to dunk, makes me happy," Metcalf said.
And the kids appreciated it.
"It means I have the opportunity to play basketball with marines and sailors," Williams said.
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