UConn and ESPN released a few details for the Huskies trip to Germany to start the season on Nov. 9. UConn will play Michigan State in the first NCAA regular season game ever in Europe and it takes on even more meaning now – it will be Kevin Ollie’s debut.
Here are some tidbits:
- The large airplane hangar, used to house a C-5 transport plane, will become the arena for the game.
- The game will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Connecticut – this will be 11:30 p.m. in Germany. It’s part of ESPN “Veterans Week” package.
- UConn and Michigan State players will tour Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and will conduct a basketball clinic for children on Ramstein Air Base, which is home to the 86th Airlift Wing.
- A quote from Kevin Ollie: “We at the University of Connecticut are honored and humbled to be asked to participate in such a terrific event as the first Armed Forces Classic. Being able to travel overseas and play for the brave men and women in our military to whom we owe so much is an unbelievable opportunity for our basketball program and we are extremely thankful to ESPN for including us. The fact that the game will be played at Ramstein Air Base in Germany makes it more exciting for our team, since our roster includes three young men [Niels Giffey, Enosch Wolf, Leon Tolksdorf] who are German citizens, but all our student-athletes are looking forward to this once-in-a-lifetime experience. … On a personal note, I couldn’t be more proud and honored that my first game as UConn’s head coach will be in the Armed Forces Classic against an outstanding program like Michigan State. I know that Coach Calhoun had a great relationship with Coach Izzo, which I hope to continue in the future. I am grateful to have such an inspiring way to begin my career.”
- A quote from Tom Izzo: “This is another amazing opportunity for Spartan basketball and Michigan State University,” said MSU head coach Tom Izzo. “I’m thankful that ESPN reached out to us to be a part of this great event. Being a part in the first college basketball game to be played on a military base overseas is truly an honor. Playing in the Carrier Classic on the USS Carl Vinson last season provided memories that will last a lifetime, as the historic event was so much more than just a basketball game. The opportunity to honor the great men and women of the US Armed Forces was a humbling experience, as we felt that we got so much more in return than we gave. To now have the opportunity to take our game overseas to servicemen and women serving to protect us is an awesome experience. I’m reminded of my trips to the U.S. bases in Kuwait, and what a life-changing experience that was for me. Everyone associated with the Michigan State basketball program is excited for this unique opportunity.”
- Click here for more info on the game from ESPN. … and here for info about Ramstein Air Base.
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