Connecticut and No. 14 Michigan State will take part in the first regular-season men’s college basketball game held overseas – in the Sears Armed Forces Classic at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, on Friday, Nov. 9. The inaugural location – in a C-5 transport airplane hangar on the base – will be televised on ESPN with coverage starting at 5:30 p.m. ET. The game is the centerpiece of ESPN’s fourth annual America’s Heroes: A Salute to Our Veterans, a five-day initiative that honors veterans and troops in programming across the network’s U.S. media platforms from Wednesday, Nov. 7 through Sunday, Nov. 11.
Live studio coverage from Germany begins on ESPNU at 5 p.m. and continues with a full pregame show at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN. The game will tipoff on ESPN at 6 p.m.
· Hannah Storm and Kevin Negandhi will anchor SportsCenter from Hangar 3, telecasting before a live audience of servicemen and women Thursday night (6 p.m.; ESPN) and Friday (9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; ESPN, ESPNEWS).
· Postgame coverage will be a combination of Anderson and Williams from Germany and a transition to the crew at the Barclays Center Classic presented by Sheets in Brooklyn, N.Y., featuring Maryland vs. defending national Champion No. 3 Kentucky.
· Vignettes on the three UConn players that hail from Germany – Leon Tolksdorf (Berlin), Niels Giffey (Berlin) and Enosch Wolf (Goettingen) and select Michigan State players – will be be weaved throughout the coverage.
· Head coaches Kevin Ollie (UConn) and Tom Izzo (MSU) will be mic’ed during practice and will also visit the SportsCenter set on Friday.
· Footage of the team’s practicing, visiting the Wounded Warrior Hospital, taking flight in a C-130, doing a tour of the base and participating in a basketball clinic with children of the servicemen and women.
Additional Content and Vignettes
· The importance of the control tower at the U.S. Air Forces headquarters in Europe.
· The injured spend 24-48 hours in the CASF (Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility) as they transition from combat back to the United States.
· Inside a C130, a military transport plane during a training mission.
· Sights and sounds from around Ramstein Air Base, including Retreat for the lowering of the flag.
· An interview with Brigadier General C.K. Hyde about the Air Base and its role as host to the game.
The Sears Armed Forces Classic is a series of Division I college men’s basketball games to be played on military bases around the world, owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN. Future teams and sites will be announced at a later date.