President Obama to Attend Carrier Classic Hoops Matchup

President Obama to Attend Carrier Classic Hoops Matchup

The game will be played on the same warship, the USS Carl Vinson, that buried Osama bin Laden at sea.

Published October 14, 2011

A North Carolina-Michigan State matchup on the hardwood draws a crowd just on its own merit.
But this matchup, which kicks off the college basketball season on Veterans Day (Nov. 11) for the Carrier Classic on the USS Carl Vinson in San Diego, has drawn the attention of President Barack Obama.

The White House confirmed Thursday that the President has accepted an invitation to attend the Tar Heels-Spartans game, which will be the first college basketball game on an active flat top.
The USS Carl Vinson, of course, is best known for burying Osama bin Laden at sea in May.
"We're honored that President Obama plans to attend the game on the Carl Vinson," said Rear Admiral Dennis Moynihan, the Navy's chief spokesman. "The ship is a representative of more than 100 Navy ships that are deployed right now. We see this as a celebration of service for all veterans, and we also see this as a great opportunity to showcase what our Navy does on a daily basis."
But college basketball fans should not rush out to San Diego to be in attendance. The court will be surrounded by stadium-style seating to accommodate 7,000 spectators, most of whom are expected to be military personnel. No tickets will be sold to the public.
In addition to Obama, former Los Angeles Lakers stars James Worthy and Magic Johnson will serve as honorary captains for the respective universities. Johnson led the Spartans to a national title in the 70's and Worthy, along with Michael Jordan, led the Tar Heels to the Final Four championship in the early 1980s.

Contact Terrance Harris at or follow him on Twitter @Terranceharris

(Photo: Daniel Barker/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)

Written by Terrance Harris


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