Gonzaga, Michigan State to play on USS Abraham Lincoln on Nov. 11 & More Latest News

SAN DIEGO — They’re going to strive to play school basketball on an plane service once more, and nautical veteran Tom Izzo and Michigan State will get a return journey to San Diego Bay to face Gonzaga on the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln on Veteran’s Day.

The recreation might be proven in prime time on Nov. 11 as a part of ESPN’s Armed Forces Classic from the flat high moored at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, throughout the bay from downtown San Diego. The Abraham Lincoln is on deployment and is due again in port later this summer season.

Izzo’s Spartans misplaced to No. 1 North Carolina 67-55 on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson on Nov. 11, 2011, within the first school basketball recreation on an energetic service. President Barack Obama and first girl Michelle Obama watched from courtside. The Carl Vinson performed Osama bin Laden’s burial at sea after he was killed by Navy SEALs in a raid ordered by Obama six months earlier.

This would be the first plane service recreation since 2012, when solely two of 4 video games scheduled that fall had been performed, together with one in San Diego that had to be pushed again two days due to rain somewhat than shifting it indoors.

While the 2011 Carrier Classic was performed in a spectacular setting, it ended lower than an hour earlier than rain drenched the court docket, simply one of many hazards organizers face in staging service hoops video games. Organizers stated there can be a backup court docket on the hangar deck as a contingency, however that court docket was by no means arrange.

Izzo welcomed the possibility to play in one other service recreation.

“The experience we had in 2011 when we played North Carolina on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson was one of the most humbling experiences of my career,” Izzo stated in a press release. “Obviously, we wanted to win and any game against a program like that is very special, but to me, the game was about so much more than just a win or a loss.”

“This opportunity to play on an aircraft carrier in front of men and women who serve in the military and are willing to put their lives on the line is an experience that is going to mean something to the young men who will play in the game for a long, long time,” Izzo added. “I said it last time and I’ll say it again, we’re going to play one of the best teams in the country and we’re going to be hosted by the No. 1 team in the world.”

Gonzaga coach Mark Few echoed Izzo’s ideas.

“This is a special opportunity for our program to support those who fight for our country in our own small way,” the Zags coach stated in a press release. “We’re excited to face an incredible program in Michigan State and a great colleague in Coach Izzo. I’m sure this will be a great memory for all of us.”

The plane service craze went away after 2012, when Mother Nature performed some critical lockdown protection, at the very least on the East Coast.

In a scheduled Carrier Classic doubleheader aboard the decommissioned USS Yorktown in Charleston, South Carolina, on Nov. 9, 2012, Notre Dame beat Ohio State in a girls’s recreation that began within the afternoon. But a males’s recreation between Ohio State and Marquette scheduled for the night by no means began due to condensation on the court docket.

That identical evening, a recreation towards Georgetown and Florida aboard the active-duty USS Bataan in Gainesville, Florida, was known as off after the primary half due to condensation.

In San Diego, a recreation between Syracuse and San Diego State scheduled for the night of Nov. 9 aboard the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum on the San Diego aspect of the bay was pushed again two days due to rain. When it was performed in sensible sunshine on the afternoon of Nov. 11, a brisk wind blowing throughout the bay contributed to the host Aztecs making simply 1 of 18 3-point photographs in a 62-49 loss to the taller Orange and its zone protection.

Clint Overby, vice chairman of ESPN Events, stated all events will think about contingencies in case of unhealthy climate or world occasions that may make the plane service unavailable.

He stated returning to an plane service recreation was “just an option that presented itself. There was no grand plan with it. It was something that was made available in terms of a discussion and we explored it and found it to be viable. More importantly, we found teams who wanted to engage in that experience and were very understanding of the logistical challenges that could be presented.”

(*11*) Overby added. “The number of teams that have lined up to play in these events, whether they be overseas or even domestically, that’s been, in our minds, very well-received by the intercollegiate basketball community. So, we’re excited about that.”


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