Despite cancellation, aircraft carrier hoops should return

Cesar Tordesillas – 4E Sports Contributor

NY, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Ohio State will definitely participate again in basketball games onboard aircraft carriers.

This was announced by Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith after their scheduled game with Marquette aboard the USS Yorktown was canceled due to court moisture.

Coaches, players, ship personnel and others all helped to dry the court with towels and mops, but the condensation kept coming back. Smith told USA Today Sports that he’d work with the operators to ensure that they avoid similar circumstances.

He added that it might be better to try to play the games earlier in the day. Mike Whalen, the promoter of the Carrier Classic, said his company still plans to hold the event next year in South Carolina.

He had received calls from interested schools as recently as Saturday morning but is looking into a rematch.

The Ohio State-Marquette and Florida-Georgetown games were the first foray into east coast aircraft carrier games.

The former was to be played off the coast of South Carolina, while the latter was played off the coast of Jacksonville before being canceled after the first half.

Smith pointed out that the weather is significantly different than last year’s venue in San Diego, and that nobody anticipated this.

But another aircraft carrier game scheduled in the same day in San Diego between San Diego State and Syracuse was postponed due to ominous weather forecasts.

Whalen and Smith emphasized that the game was the least important part of the experience.

The real focus, according to Smith, is to generate funds for the military and to have student-athletes interact with them and bring joy to their lives.

“That’s what it’s all about. These people protect our freedom,” he quipped.

Captain Greg Hicks, the deputy chief of Navy information, described the Florida and Georgetown game as an “absolutely incredible experience.”

More than 1,000 members of the Navy and Marines who attended or were involved in the game in Jacksonville will be richer for the experience, said Hicks.

He noted that like any other outreach event, the navy would determine whether to support it in the future.

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