Four traditional college basketball powers will play next season in a hangar on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, weeks shy of the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, ESPN announced Friday.
Michigan State will play Arizona and Kansas will take on Indiana in the Armed Forces Classic on Nov. 11, 2016. The games will be the final two in the series for the current five-year cycle. Next season's Armed Forces Classic will be at Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler in Okinawa, Japan, with Gonzaga taking on Pittsburgh.
"It's great for our student-athletes to be able to admire somebody….to be around people of their own age who are doing something more significant than playing basketball,” Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis said to the Detroit Free Press.
Michigan State has participated in several military-themed events over the past few seasons. In 2012, the Spartans played Connecticut in the first Armed Forces Classic at Germany’s Ramstein Air Base in Germany. In 2011, Michigan State and North Carolina played in the Carrier Class aboard the deck of the USS Carl Vinson off the coast of San Diego.
Michigan State opens the season on Friday in the Veterans Classic against Navy at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
- Scooby Axson