Michigan St, UConn planning game on overseas base
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) After opening last season on an aircraft carrier, Michigan State's men's basketball team is ready to head overseas for a game on a U.S. Air Force base in Germany.
Michigan State and Connecticut are planning the unique matchup, which is set for Nov. 9 at Ramstein Air Base, pending final approval by the Defense Department. The Spartans announced the event Tuesday.
"Being a part in the first college basketball game to be played on a military base overseas is truly an honor," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. "Everyone associated with the Michigan State basketball program is excited for this unique opportunity."
Creative events like this are nothing new for Michigan State, which has played hockey games in football stadiums and last November's basketball game against North Carolina aboard the USS Carl Vinson in the San Diego area.
President Barack Obama attended that game, which drew ESPN's highest-ever rating for a college basketball game played in November.
"Once again, we are excited about participating in an event that pays tribute and respect to the men and women that serve in our nation's armed forces," Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis said. "It is our responsibility to give reflection and support to these men and women that currently serve and have served in the past."
Hollis says the game at Ramstein would take place before an audience of 2,500 to 3,000 enlisted men and women, and ESPN is collaborating to stage the event.
"We applaud ESPN for their commitment to programming aimed at providing our veterans with the respect they deserve," Hollis said. "We look forward to sharing America's pride with those stationed at Ramstein in November."
Updated June 26, 2012