MINNEAPOLIS When Portland selected Dante Cunningham with the 33rd pick in the 2009 NBA draft, it wasn't his first time playing for the Blazers.
It just wasn't those Blazers.
Cunningham lived in Germany from age 2 to 6, moving between Air Force bases with his parents, Ronald Cunningham and Searcy Blankenship, who were enlisted, and older sister, Davalyn. It was in Germany where Cunningham played his first basketball game, for those first Blazers, his team on Ramstein Air Base. It was a long way from Portland, farther still from the NBA, and the path that brought Cunningham to where he is today playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves -- bears the heavy mark of his military childhood.
Cunningham's early basketball memories are of pickup games in hangars, where makeshift courts were often erected. At Ramstein, he remembers his father participating in such games, and now, years later, the base is playing host to the first American college game played in Europe, on Friday between UConn a...