Press release courtesy WVU Athletic Communication
The Armed Forces Classic – a series of Division I men’s college basketball games that are televised from United States military bases around Veteran’s Day as a morale event for service members – is scheduled to continue for the foreseeable future. The 2017 event will return to Ramstein Air Base in Germany – the site of the inaugural Classic in 2012 – this time showcasing Texas A&M against West Virginia. The Armed Forces Classic is owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN.
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to extend our relationship with the Department of Defense,” said Clint Overby, vice president, ESPN Events. “This premier event will continue its tradition of showcasing the beginning of each college basketball season, while honoring the service of the men and women stationed at military bases across the world.”
The Mountaineers are ranked No. 20 and the Aggies are receiving votes in the preseason Associated Press poll, after both earning berths into the 2016 NCAA Championship First Round and Sweet 16, respectively.
Listed is the current rotation of United States military bases (which is subject to change pending military circumstances):
Nov 10, 2017: Ramstein Air Base, Germany
Nov 9, 2018: Fort Bliss, Texas
Nov 8, 2019: Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska
Nov 13, 2020: Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.
The games will be televised on ESPN as part of the network’s America’s Heroes initiative honoring the men and women who are serving and who have served in the United States military, both at home and abroad.
The 2016-17 men’s college basketball season begins from Honolulu on Friday, Nov. 11, with the fifth annual State Farm Armed Forces Classic, just under a month before the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. A doubleheader for the first time, this year’s event – pitting pre-season ranked No. 13 Arizona against No. 10 Michigan State (7 p.m.) and No. 12 Indiana vs. No. 3 Kansas (9 p.m.) on ESPN – will be staged from the Stan Sheriff Center on the campus of the University of Hawaii with surrounding events at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
Armed Forces Classic History
Nov. 13, 2015: Pitt had a lead over No. 9 Gonzaga at the half 37-35, at Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler in Okinawa, Japan, after which officials called the game due to poor conditions on the court.
Nov. 14, 2014: Rick Pitino coached, No. 8 Louisville, sealed an 81-68 victory over Minnesota, coached by his son Richard Pitino from the United States Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen in Puerto Rico.
Nov. 8, 2013: No. 19 Oregon topped Georgetown 82-75 from United States Army Garrison Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, South Korea.
Nov. 9, 2012: Unranked Connecticut upset No. 14 Michigan State 66-62 from inside a C-5 transport airplane hangar on Ramstein Air Base in Germany.