NEW LONDON, Conn. -- The United States Coast Guard Academy men's basketball team will open its season against Hampden-Sydney College on Friday, Nov. 14, as part of the Armed Forces Classic on the United States Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen in Puerto Rico. The contest will be shown live on ESPNU prior to the previously announced matchup between 2013 NCAA National Championship Louisville and 2014 NIT Champion Minnesota on ESPN.
The Armed Forces Classic – a series of Division I men's college basketball games – is played on United States military bases worldwide over a five-year rotation. It will originate from the Marines in 2015 and Navy in 2016. The games are played at a different branch of service at a Military installation each year, including the Air Force in 2012 and Army in 2013.
"It is an honor and privilege for our men's basketball team to be able to represent the outstanding men of women of the U. S. Coast Guard Academy by playing in the 2014 Armed Forces Classic," said Tim Fitzpatrick, USCGA director of athletics. "We are very grateful to ESPN for providing this opportunity to participate in such a prestigious event. Knowing that the game will be carried live on ESPNU will make it accessible to the entire Coast Guard family, including active duty members throughout the United States and the world."
"We are thrilled to be a part of an event that is aimed at honoring those who serve our country," said Kevin Jaskiewicz, USCGA men's basketball coach. "Our guys are looking forward to playing on the base in front of other members of the Coast Guard and the added bonus of playing on ESPNU just adds to the excitement. It is a great opportunity for our program and we are looking forward to the trip."
This will be the first ever men's basketball meeting between the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (located in New London, Conn.), and Hampden-Sydney College (Hampden-Sydney, Va.).
"Hampden-Sydney College is proud to partner with the United States Coast Guard Academy in the 2014 Armed Forces Classic in Puerto Rico this November," said Richard Epperson, director of athletics at Hampden-Sydney. "To play on the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen is truly an honor, and furthermore, to be on ESPNU represents a unique opportunity to highlight Division III basketball and our respective institutions. The entire weekend promises to be a once in a lifetime experience that our players, coaches, parents and fans will never forget."
"We are extremely grateful to Coast Guard Director of Athletics Tim Fitzpatrick (Hampden-Sydney, class of 1981) for the opportunity to play in the prestigious Armed Forces Classic," said Dee Vick, HSC men's basketball coach . "It will be a special moment for everyone involved to be able to play on the base in Puerto Rico. Our team, along with the entire Tiger faithful, looks forward to competing against the Coast Guard Academy in this ESPNU event. "
The games are part of the network's America's Heroes: A Salute to Our Veterans initiative honoring the men and women who are serving and who have served in the United States military, both at home and abroad.
The inaugural game on Nov. 9, 2012 saw unranked Connecticut upset then-No. 14 nationally-ranked Michigan State 66-62 from inside a C-5 transport airplane hangar on Ramstein Air Base in Germany. In the second installment on Nov. 8, 2013, then-No. 19 Oregon topped Georgetown 82-75 from United States Army Garrison Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, South Korea.
The Armed Forces Classic is owned and operated by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN.
ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes two Labor Day weekend college football games; 11 college bowl games and eight college basketball events, which accounts for approximately 200 hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over a half a million attendees each year. With satellite offices in Boca Raton, Boise, Birmingham, Dallas-Fort Worth, Albuquerque, St. Petersburg and Las Vegas, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.
ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.
AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl (Houston); AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); BITCOIN St. Petersburg Bowl (Florida); Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Hawai'i Bowl (Honolulu); Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney (Orlando, Fla.); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada) and The Home Depot College Football Awards (Orlando, Fla.)
Armed Forces Classic (U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen, PR); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Wooden Legacy (Orange County, Calif.); Jimmy V Men's & Women's Basketball Classics (New York City & South Bend, Ind.); Orlando Classic (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan, PR) and State Farm Champions Classic (Indianapolis)