Basketball team to open 2012-13 season in Germany, pending approval
The announcement today from ESPN and the MSU Athletics Department that the men’s basketball team will be traveling to Germany for its 2012 season opener has many saying, “Athletics Director Mark Hollis has done it again.”
Following up last year’s Carrier Classic in which MSU took on North Carolina aboard the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier in San Diego, the Spartans have agreed to matchup with Connecticut to tip-off the 2012 campaign at Ramstein Air Base — a U.S. Air Force installation — on Nov. 9 pending approval from the U.S. Department of Defense. ESPN’s Andy Katz reported that the game is a collaborative effort between the Department of Defense and ESPN programming.
“Once again, we are excited about participating in an event that pays tribute and respect to the men and women that serve in our nation’s armed forces,” said Hollis, who was instrumental in coordinating last year’s Carrier Classic, in a statement by the athletics department. “ … The student-athletes on our men’s basketball team have had an opportunity to play the game they love in NCAA Final Fours, for Big Ten titles and aboard a USN Aircraft Carrier in front of the President of the United States of America.”
Katz also reports the game will be played sometime after 10 p.m. local time to make for an early evening viewing time on the East Coast.
Hollis said in the statement that an audience of 2,500-3,000 U.S. servicemen will be in attendance in Germany.
“This is another amazing opportunity for Spartan basketball and Michigan State University,” head coach Tom Izzo said in a statement. “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.”