MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (AP) — – It’s about much more than pick-and-rolls and double teams for the players starting their seasons aboard the USS Yorktown at the Carrier Classic.
Ohio State coach Thad Matta and Marquette counterpart Buzz Williams aren’t just thinking about getting a win. They agree the trip south is also about giving their players a deeper appreciation for the military and the sacrifice it takes to serve one’s country.
“This is one of the top five things I’ve ever done in my life,” Williams said.
The event began last fall with North Carolina and Michigan State playing on an aircraft carrier off San Diego. This year, the classic was expanded and moved across the country to the USS Yorktown, a carrier turned naval museum in Charleston’s harbor.
Festivities tip off Friday when last season’s national women’s runner-up, No. 7 Notre Dame, faces No. 19 Ohio State. Then a showdown between the fourth-ranked Buckeyes men’s team and Marquette follows on the flight deck turned basketball court. There are stands for about 4,000 people, about half of those military personnel who received donated tickets in thanks for their service.
The four teams each had about an hour on the converted court, set between the carrier’s large command tower and the warship’s far end. A mesh backing was set up just a few feet from a basket to stop high rebounds or really bad passes from landing in the water some 30 feet below.
Continue Reading: Ohio St.-Marquette Preview (The Associated Press)