OSU Men, Women to Play in 2012 Carrier Classic
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — November 9 will be an important day for Ohio State fans around the country, and for anyone who has served as a member of the United States military.
On that, the Ohio State men’s and women’s basketball teams will headline the 2012 Carrier Classic on in Charleston, S.C. It’s an event that began a year ago with North Carolina and Michigan State playing under a full moon on the U.S.S. Carl Vinson, just off the coast of San Diego.
This year’s Carrier Classic will take place on the top deck of the USS Yorktown, a museum ship at the Patriots Point historical complex in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., in Charleston Harbor.
Ohio State’s women’s basketball team will face off against NCAA runner-up Notre Dame, while Thad Matta and the men’s team face a Marquette University team that advanced to the Sweet 16 this past March.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to play in the 2012 Carrier Classic,” Ohio State men’s coach Thad Matta said in a statement.
“This is a fantastic chance for both of our basketball programs to participate in something that is more than just a basketball game. It is a chance to honor the men and women who have made sacrifices for each one of us. This is another experience our student-athletes will always remember from their time at The Ohio State University.”
The USS Yorktown—named after the Battle of Yorktown in the American Revolutionary War—is one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II for the United States Navy.
It was commissioned in April 1943, and participated in several campaigns in the Pacific Theater of Operations, earning 11 battle stars and the Presidential Unit Citation. The ship was decommissioned after the end of World War II in 1945, but was modernized and re-commissioned in the early 1950s as an attack carrier.
The Yorktown earned five battle stars during the Vietnam War and later served as a recovery ship for the Apollo 8 space mission.
The 2011 Carrier Classic attracted United States President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama to the USS Carl Vinson and garnered some of the highest television ratings for that time period.
The 2012 Carrier Classic will again focus attention on America’s veterans and members of the armed services, while raising money for organizations that support them.
“This will be a great opportunity to educate our student-athletes that the world is bigger than they realize,” Ohio State women’s coach Jim Foster said.
“It also gives us a chance to play a quality opponent early in the season that will give us some perspective on where we are and where we need to be at the end of the season.”
The 2012 beneficiaries are the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society and Museum and the Wounded Warrior Project. The 2011 Carrier Classic contributed almost half a million dollars to its beneficiaries.
Tickets to the Carrier Classic will again be provided at no cost for members of the military and veterans.
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