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Khalil Davis, space vehicle operator with the 1st Space Operations Squadron, keeps his eye on his opponents during the Ellicott High School donkey basketball mini-tournament on Sept. 20, 2018.
Khalil Davis, space vehicle operator with the 1st Space Operations Squadron, keeps his eye on his opponents during the Ellicott High School donkey basketball mini-tournament on Sept. 20, 2018. (William Tracy/U.S. Air Force)
Khalil Davis, space vehicle operator with the 1st Space Operations Squadron, keeps his eye on his opponents during the Ellicott High School donkey basketball mini-tournament on Sept. 20, 2018.
Khalil Davis, space vehicle operator with the 1st Space Operations Squadron, keeps his eye on his opponents during the Ellicott High School donkey basketball mini-tournament on Sept. 20, 2018. (William Tracy/U.S. Air Force)
McKinney Malory, maintenance analyst with the 50th Space Communications Squadron, celebrates after making a basket in the first half of the championship match of a donkey basketball mini tournament in Ellicott High School, Ellicott, Colorado, Sept. 20, 2018.
McKinney Malory, maintenance analyst with the 50th Space Communications Squadron, celebrates after making a basket in the first half of the championship match of a donkey basketball mini tournament in Ellicott High School, Ellicott, Colorado, Sept. 20, 2018. (William Tracy/U.S. Air Force)

You never know what you're going to end up doing during a volunteer opportunity when you're in the military — helping kids learn to read, assisting the elderly or playing basketball while riding a donkey.

That's what a group of airmen from Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado ended up doing in a school gymnasium on Sept. 20, according to an Air Force statement. They took on Ellicott High School students and faculty members in a mini-tournament, which KOAA-TV reported helped raise money for a student trip to the United Kingdom. The human participants wore helmets. The donkeys wore saddles. The objective was to try to make baskets and not fall off.

“First, you had to get the donkey to calm down,” said Khalil Davis, space vehicle operator with the 1st Space Operations Squadron. “It took a bit, but we finally started moving, coordinating as a team and scoring points.”

In the mini tournament, there were two eight-minute matches in a 16-minute set where the airmen triumphed against faculty members 6-4, followed by a championship match against high school boys. As time ran out, the score in the championship match was 2-2. A game of rock-paper-scissors was used to break the tie. Unfortunately for the airmen, their rock was bested by the wily high schoolers' scissors.

Cameron Crabtree, an extremely high frequency satellite systems operator technician with the 50th Operations Support Squadron, said in the statement that airmen should volunteer, no matter how ridiculous the opportunity sounds.

"Also, if you ever have a chance to play donkey basketball, do it. It's fun," he added.

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