Georgetown, Oregon to play college hoops game in South Korea
Stars and Stripes
SEOUL — Big-time college basketball is coming to Camp Humphreys in South Korea.
Georgetown is scheduled to play Oregon on Nov. 8 in the “2013 Armed Forces Classic” at the Humphreys Community Fitness Center in a game that will be broadcast nationally back in the U.S. on ESPN, reportedly as part of the cable TV network’s weeklong Veterans Day-related promotion.
While at Camp Humphreys, the teams will participate in a variety of activities including serving troops at a dining facility, conducting youth clinics for military families, holding open practices and touring the Pyeongtaek base, according to a news release from the Georgetown athletics department.
“Camp Humphreys is extremely proud to host this year’s Armed Forces Classic,” commander Col. Darin S. Conkright said in a statement quoted in an ESPN.com report. “I can’t think of a better way to provide the soldiers and families stationed here on Freedom’s Frontier a taste of home than through a sporting event of this magnitude.”
Base spokesman Steven Hoover said Camp Humphreys and Fort Wainwright in Alaska were the finalists for this year’s Armed Forces Classic, and ESPN officials decided on the South Korea base after a site visit in March.
The Humphreys fitness center has room for about 2,000 spectators to attend the game, Hoover said. Details about how people can get tickets have yet to be released, he said.
Oregon coach Dana Altman was quoted by ESPN as saying, “Players and our staff are excited about playing for the troops and the opportunity to play Georgetown. We will get to spend a couple of days with the troops and that will be enlightening for all of us.”
Georgetown coach John Thompson III was quoted as saying, “The game is important, but above and beyond the competition it will be an unparalleled learning experience for everyone in our program.”
The Armed Forces Classic was created last year by ESPN and the DOD, with plans calling for games staged at locations of each of the military branches over the next five years.
Michigan State played the University of Connecticut in the first game of the classic last year in a C-5 transport plane hanger at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
College basketball games have also been held on aircraft carriers in recent years with mixed results. Michigan State played North Carolina on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson in 2011 to rave reviews.
However, last year, condensation on the court forced the cancellation of an Ohio State-Marquette game on the USS Yorktown, and the scrapping of a Georgetown-Florida game aboard the USS Bataan after the first half. A Syracuse-San Diego State game was played on the deck of the USS Midway, but only after being postponed by weather concerns for two days.