On Friday, UNC faced Michigan State to kick-off the 2011-12 basketball season and they did it on an aircraft carrier. It was in honor of Veteran's Day, the stands were filled with military personnel and the President and the First Lady were courtside.
It was a great way to start the season, even if playing outdoors offers some challenges (chief among them: as the sun set and the temperature dropped, moisture made the court slick). And next year, the Huskies will get the honor of playing on an aircraft carrier on Veteran's Day.
Coach Jim Calhoun and UConn President Susan Herbst say it's an honor to be picked for the game. Mike Whalen, director of the Morale Entertainment Foundation, says UConn's opponent could be Kansas, Texas, Florida, Arizona or Illinois.
But the men may not be the only UConn basketball team to play on a boat that serves as a home for 5,000 military personnel when it's not used for hoops. Details via the Hartford Courant's John Altavilla:
Two UConn sources confirmed Friday the Huskies have been approached by organizers of the Carrier Classic in San Diego about being a part of the 2013 event. The sources say UConn's interest in participating in the event, which is staged on an aircraft carrier, as high.
Apparently, organizers of the event would like the UConn women to play Stanford. The Huskies and Cardinal are involved in a long-term home-and-home series that continues Nov. 21 in Hartford. The teams will play again Dec. 29, 2012 at Stanford, which means the 2013-14 meeting would be a UConn home game.
Altavilla adds that UConn probably wouldn't give up a home game for the chance to play in the event, but might consider swapping home games with the Cardinal; that is to say: UConn would play Stanford on the carrier, and the following year, the Huskies would host the Cardinal.
It would be a great opportunity to showcase the sport on a national stage. Yes, women's basketball doesn't need to be sold to fans in Storrs and Stanford, but for the rest of the country it would be a chance to catch up on what they're missing.