Tuesday , Sep , 01 , 2009 C.Y. Ellis

Former NBA Player Stationed in Iraq


Tim James apologized for being late. A rough day at work, said the Miami Heat’s 1999 first-round draft pick. Vehicles broke down, problems flared up, and he simply fell behind.

“It happens,” James said. “Even here.”

Even on the front line of the Iraq war.

A former NBA player who often wondered about his true calling, Tim James is now a U.S. Army soldier, a transformation that even many of the people closest to him never saw coming.

“I got my degree, lived the life I was able, have my freedom and became a professional athlete,” James said last week from Iraq. “I’m the example of the American dream.”

James is at Camp Speicher, the massive base near Tikrit, 85 miles north of Baghdad, not far from Saddam Hussein’s hometown and where insurgents still are a perpetual threat. For Miami Northwestern High, the Miami Hurricanes, three NBA teams and some foreign clubs, he was forward Tim James. For the Army, he’s Spc. Tim James of Task Force ODIN—short for Observe, Detect, Identify, Neutralize.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news;_ylt=Amg.eR6UDr5XlvdWTEZnvDK8vLYF?slug=ap-heat-asoldierscalling&prov=ap&type=lgns