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Inaugural 'NCAA Carrier Classic' basketball game honors veterans

November 11, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
On Veterans Day, a unique celebration took place in San Diego Bay, where a basketball game was played on the deck of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier. The event took place in Coronado for the first time Friday.

On Veterans Day, a unique celebration took place in San Diego Bay, where a basketball game was played on the deck of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier. The event took place in Coronado for the first time Friday.

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama were among 7,000 fans attending the historic basketball game Friday onboard the USS Carl Vinson.

"We are proud to be here to see a great sporting event, but the main reason we are here is on Veterans Day, we have an opportunity to say thank you," said President Obama.

It was the first-ever college basketball game played aboard a Navy aircraft carrier, between the Michigan State University Spartans and the University of North Carolina Tar Heels.

The event is called the NCAA Carrier Classic.

The basketball court was built on the flight deck. where fighter jets normally sit. The setup started more than a week ago.

"I'm a Navy vet, so it means everything to me," said spectator Jack Gibson. "I was home-ported here for about four years."

"It's nice that the veterans are being recognized finally for the service that they gave for so many years. Just a really cool thing to do," said spectator Mary Kay Gibson, who was visiting from Michigan.

The event was a celebration of service for all veterans.

Admission was by invite-only.

The Tar Heels beat the Spartans, 67-55.


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