By Steven Hoover, USAG Humphreys Public AffairsNovember 1, 2013
CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea (Nov. 1, 2013) -- The Humphreys Community Fitness Center here will be the site for the second installment of the ESPN Armed Forces Classic, featuring the men's basketball teams from Georgetown University and the University of Oregon, Nov. 9.
The game will tip off at 10 a.m., Nov. 9, locally and be broadcast by ESPN, starting at 7:30 p.m. (ET), Nov. 8, to a worldwide audience. The game between the unranked Hoyas and the No. 18 Ducks is part of ESPN's Veteran's Week initiative, honoring the men and women who are serving and who have served in the United States military, both at home and abroad.
"Camp Humphreys is extremely proud to host this year's Armed Forces Classic," said Col. Darin S. Conkright, Humphreys Garrison commander, when the game was first announced in late July. "I can't think of a better way to provide the Soldiers and families stationed here, on freedom's frontier, a taste of home than through a sporting event of this magnitude."
While here, the teams will participate in a variety of activities surrounding the game, including serving and eating with the troops at a dining facility, conducting youth clinics for children, holding open practices and touring the installation.
"We're excited about the opportunity to be a part of the Armed Forces Classic and for the opportunity to play Oregon," said Georgetown head coach John Thompson III. "I think it's important as we prepare for league play to compete against top-flight opponents. At the same time, it's an honor for Georgetown to be involved in the Veterans Week festivities and to recognize the contributions of the United States military."
"Our players and staff are very excited to take part in this event," added Oregon Coach Dana Altman. "This is an incredible opportunity for all of us and we look forward to entertaining the troops."
The teams will arrive at Incheon Airport Nov. 6, and then be bused to Camp Humphreys. Once they arrive at Humphreys, they will have time for an optional practice, which will be open to the community, and then dinner. During their time in Korea, Georgetown will practice at the MP Hill Fitness Center and Oregon will work out at Zoeckler Station Fitness Center.
The following day, the teams are scheduled for practices at their respective sites and then they will conduct Youth Basketball clinics for 120 family members ages 7-13, of active duty military, Department of Defense civilians and contractors with U.S. identification cards, at 5-6 p.m.
On Nov. 8, following practice, the teams will dine and serve with the Soldiers at both the Talon Café and the Provider Grill dining facilities, noon-1 p.m. Following lunch, starting around 1:30 p.m., both teams will host a meet and greet at the MP Hill Fitness Center.
The day of the game, doors to Super Gym will open at 8 a.m. The majority of tickets to this game will be issued to Camp Humphreys Soldiers, along with U.S. active-duty personnel from throughout Korea. Another 50 tickets were issued to interested family members through a lottery-type system.
Last year, ESPN began the season with a game at Ramstein Air Base, in Germany, with the Michigan State Spartans and the Connecticut Huskies. It was the first regular-season college basketball game played on European soil.
This year's game is the second of a five-year rotation between the services, and has a chance to be just as intriguing. With the Air Force hosting last year and the Army this year, the Coast Guard, Marines and Navy are on the docket for Years 3-5 of the series.
The last time a regular-season college game was held in Asia was 1982, when a Ralph Sampson-led University of Virginia and a Hakeem Olajuwon-led University of Houston, played in Tokyo.
The purpose of these games isn't just to honor the military on Veterans Day weekend but to bring an event to the servicemen and women who normally don't have access to a sporting event or may feel detached from the American sporting culture.
"We thank ESPN for supporting Soldiers and bringing a taste of home to Freedom's Frontier," said Lt. Gen. Bernard S. Champoux, Eighth Army commanding general. "We are proud to be part of this game. I can't think of a better place to showcase the importance our Army places on strength and resilience than the top-notch fitness center at Camp Humphreys."
Camp Humphreys is home to the 2nd Infantry Division's 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, along with various military intelligence and support units, and the Army's most active overseas airfield. As Camp Humphreys grows, the command is working hard to provide Soldiers and their families a strong, supportive community and a quality of life similar to what they would find at home in the States.