“I’m on a boat!”

Posted on November 18, 2011

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Imagine you’re on the deck of a boat, twenty stories above the water, and you’re playing basketball; and on top of that the President of the United States is watching you. 

The game that will never be forgotten.

On Veteran’s Day, Friday, November 11, 2011 college basketball did something never done before.  UNC and Michigan State kicked of the college basketball season with the “Carrier Classic,” aboard the USS Carl Vinson Aircraft Carrier.

The event cost around two million dollars, and the players had a fan crowd of 8,111, including President Obama, his wife Michelle, Magic Johnson, and James Worthy (7,000 of those being soldiers).

The USS Carl Vinson did more than host the first ever basketball game on an aircraft carrier.  It dumped Osama bin Laden’s body out at sea, gave relief to Haiti after an earthquake, and launched air strikes on the Middle East after the September 11 Crisis.  The UNC and Michigan State basketball game was just one more of the ships many firsts. 

North Carolina’s, Harrison Barnes, told Fox News Sports “[he] felt dizzy as the USS Car Vinson, docked across from downtown in San Diego Bay, swayed under his feet.”  One of Michigan State’s guards, Keith Appling, told Fox News Sports, “[he] felt the almost imperceptible breeze play games with his jump shot.”

The game was a rematch of the 2009 National Championship game, and the Tar Heels went into the game ranked number one, though many felt that this was not about the game. “It’s about giving back to the American military,” says Fox News Sports. 

Michigan State Coach, Tom Izzo stated, “If you could have seen our players’ eyes.  It’s bigger than a game.”

Former Croatan graduate, Summer Allen said that it was “so cool that the teams were given the opportunity to play on the aircraft carrier and in front of the President.”

With a twenty percent chance of rain at jump ball, the game went on outdoors.  Carolina coach, Roy Williams said, “If anyone wants to play indoors they can go downstairs and play 3 on 3.  Nobody will be watching.”

Before the game, Michigan State Coach, Tom Izzo stated, “You talk about a memory maker, there’s been no player that’s ever done something like this.”

The final score of the game was Carolina – 67, Michigan State – 55.  But the real winners in this game were the veterans who got to experience this day in history. 

Reported by Rachel Brazda

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Posted in: News, Sports