2nd annual Carrier Classic hours away from take off

2nd annual Carrier Classic hours away from take off

MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - In a few short hours, the 2nd annual Carrier Classic will tip off on the flight deck of the U.S.S. Yorktown. Four college basketball powerhouses will take to the hardwood for the special event honoring the nation's veterans and active duty military forces.

Leading up to the event, crews worked practically non-stop for a week's time to get everything ready for opening night.

"It looks like organized chaos," said Bill Anderson, spokesperson for the Carrier Classic. "Hundreds of people running, forklifts are everywhere and hammers going. Everything that's necessary to put on a basketball game for national television coverage has been completed within a week's time."

Anderson, along with dozens of contractors and workers, have transformed the U.S.S Yorktown into a hardwood basketball court with more than 4,000 seats on the ship's flight deck.

Although the ship's backdrop, the stunning Arthur Ravenel Bridge, is a sight to see being outdoors is the focus the players have to worry about.

"All the environmental factors will be an issue," said Anderson.

The biggest factor come game time will be the wind and how the players respond to it. Gusts and breezes will be coming from all different directions at different speeds on the deck.

Anderson says the crews have thought of everything, especially ways to block the breeze like a large black mesh screen on the side of the ship facing the Cooper River.

"I think if it got significant enough we'd certainly would have to delay the game," said Anderson. "But we don't anticipate that based on the weather forecasts that it will be an issue at all for either game."

The spokesperson says to get the full effect of the unique event it's all about embracing the outdoors and taking in the experience.

"This view of the city skyline and the view of the bridge are something money can't buy," said Anderson.

All four teams playing in the 2nd annual Carrier Classic practiced Thursday afternoon.

At 4 p.m. Friday, Notre Dame and Ohio State's women's basketball teams will square off on the flight deck followed up by the Ohio State and Marquette men's teams.

Last year, on Veterans Day Weekend, President Barack Obama made an appearance on the U.S.S Carl Vinson in San Diego. At the time, the North Carolina Tar Heels, ranked No. 1, beat the Michigan State Spartans 67-55.

The preseason college basketball Associated Press poll has the Buckeye men ranked No. 4 in the nation. Marquette is just outside of the top 25.

On the women's side, Notre Dame is ranked No. 7 in poll leading Ohio State by 12 spots as the Buckeyes are seated at No. 19.

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