“On the court, the game will feature two of the top programs in America, but it also provides an opportunity for life lessons off the court including those about the real meanings of sacrifice and dedication. The opportunity to give something back to those that serve in the military and their families is a humbling experience.”- Tom Izzo (2011)
On Veterans Day (11-11-11), Michigan State played North Carolina in the 2011 Quicken Loans Carrier Classic, the first men’s college basketball game to be played on the deck of a military aircraft carrier. The game was played on the USS Carl Vinson at Naval Base Coronado in the San Diego harbor. A basketball court with seating for approximately 7,000 fans was constructed on the flight deck. The game honored and entertained the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. Proceeds of the event benefited the Wounded Warrior Project, and the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.
The USS Carl Vinson is one of the Navy’s ten Nimitz-class supercarriers, the largest warships in the fleet. The ship was launched in 1980 and commissioned in 1982, and has supported military and humanitarian missions around the world, deploying frequently to the Middle East and the Pacific.