Coach Tom Izzo and Michigan State basketball will participate in a tournament at Navy in 2014. (Dale G. Young / Detroit News)
Annapolis, Md. — Michigan State basketball is set to participate in yet another tribute to the troops.
CBS Sports Network and the Naval Academy on Monday announced plans for a new college basketball event, the Veterans Classic at the Naval Academy, which will tip-off Friday, Nov. 14.
Michigan State, Tennessee, VCU and Navy will take part in the inaugural event.
The showcase is scheduled to continue every year through 2017, with Navy the only team certain to play each year.
“This should be a terrific event over the next four years featuring some of the best college basketball teams in the country,” said Chet Gladchuk, Naval Academy director of athletics. “We are excited to be able to put on a first class event with our partners from CBS, while also honoring veterans from all the services.
It will be an incredible opportunity for our basketball program to host some of the premier basketball programs in the country in Alumni Hall.”
The games Friday, Nov. 14, will pit Tennessee against VCU at 6:30 p.m., and Michigan State against Navy at 9.
It will be the season opener for Michigan State.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to play in some amazing venues and be part of some great events, but the one thing I’ve always felt was missing was the chance to play at one of our service academies,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. “I’m excited to expose my team to the realities of life at the Naval Academy.
“Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to interact with the U.S. military in many different places, including coaching a team of servicemen and women in Kuwait, playing basketball games on an aircraft carrier and on an air base in Germany, and even meeting with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey this past May. Every time, I’m convinced that the U.S. military is our country’s greatest team, and I’m floored by the discipline, sacrifice and attitude of its men and women.
Interestingly, the Michigan State football team will play the following day at Maryland (Nov. 15, 8 p.m.) in College Park, located approximately 30 miles from Annapolis.