The San Diego-based aircraft carrier will host Gonzaga University and Michigan State for a Veterans Day college basketball showdown.
The U.S. Navy and ESPN Events confirmed Wednesday, scheduling the 2022 Armed Forces Classic for November 11 on the USS Abraham Lincoln ship at the Naval Air Station North Island.
Vice Adm. Kenneth Whitesell, Commander, Naval Air Forces, said that this is an honor for for the Navy to host this sporting event on one of their most renowned carriers in the military branch.
"It is truly an honor that, on Veterans Day in the centennial year of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, we will host the Armed Forces Classic basketball game on the flight deck of one of our most renowned aircraft carriers, USS Abraham Lincoln," said the Commander in the Naval Air Forces. "Those who serve, and who have served, know that the military is the ultimate team sport, and I can think of no better way to salute our men and women in uniform than to celebrate this all-American pastime together on one of our nation's capital warships."
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo spoke on November's game and also emphasized on what it means to them to be invited to participate in this experience.
"This opportunity to play on an aircraft carrier in front of the men and women who willingly put their lives on the line will be an experience that is going to mean something to the young men who will play in the game for a long, long time," said coach Izzo. "I said it the time in 2011 when we played North Carolina on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson — one of the most humbling experiences of my career, and I'll say it again, we're going to play one of the top teams in the country and we're going to be hosted by the No. 1 team in the world."
Gonzaga head coach Mark Few also spoke on the honor of participating in this year's edition of the Armed Forces Classic,
"We are extremely honored to be a part of the Armed Forces Classic," coach Mark Few said. "This is a special opportunity for our program to support those who fight for our country in our own small way. We're excited to face an incredible program in Michigan State and a great colleague in Coach Izzo. I'm sure this will be a great memory for all of us."