Carried away: Third college hoops game scheduled for ship Nov. 9

mabus carrier classic

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, right, announces another hoops-on-a-carrier game set for Naval Station Mayport, Fla., on Nov. 9. Mabus made the announcement Friday in Jacksonville with Mayor Alvin Brown. (Navy photo by CMC Sam Shavers)

No carrier? No problem.

Even though Naval Station Mayport, Fla., has been flattop-less since the decommissioning of the John F. Kennedy in 2007, and even though there are already two games on decommissioned flattops (classic carriers?) set for Nov. 9, the city of Jacksonville announced Friday that Georgetown and Florida will face off at Mayport in the Navy-Marine Corps Classic.

The city’s news release makes no mention of a ship, but other reports have made it clear: Plans are to put this game between two college basketball powerhouses on a carrier — although a big-deck amphib might not be a bad choice for something called “Navy-Marine Corps Classic” being held at a base about to host an amphibious ready group. According to the Navy’s official Twitter account, in a perfect mix of online shorthand and PR-speak: “More 2 follow-ops decisions not yet made.”

ESPN’s Andy Katz reported Friday that both schools were told the Navy would be “fully supportive” of the game. That could make the Mayport tilt the spiritual successor to the Quicken Loans Carrier Classic, last year’s unique-at-the-time contest between North Carolina and Michigan State aboard the carrier Carl Vinson.

No TV coverage has been announced, but it’s possible college hoops fans will get a tripleheader come Nov. 9 with games in Florida, South Carolina and California. And who knows — international hockey fans might be in luck, too.


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