H-SC, CGA to open season on ESPN3

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The U.S. Coast Guard Academy men’s basketball team will open the 2014-15 Division III basketball season with a game against Hampden-Sydney College on Friday, Nov. 14, as part of the Armed Forces Classic on the United States Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen in Puerto Rico. The contest will be shown live on ESPN3 prior to a matchup between 2013 national championship Louisville and 2014 NIT champion Minnesota on ESPN.

Because the game is being played Nov. 14, a day before the start of the Division III regular season, the schools would have needed special dispensation from the NCAA to count this as a regular season game.

The Armed Forces Classic – a series of Division I men’s college basketball games – is played on United States military bases worldwide over a five-year rotation. It will originate from the Marines in 2015 and Navy in 2016. The games are played at a different branch of service at a military installation each year, including the Air Force in 2012 and Army in 2013.

“It is an honor and privilege for our men’s basketball team to be able to represent the outstanding men of women of the U. S. Coast Guard Academy by playing in the 2014 Armed Forces Classic,” said Tim Fitzpatrick, USCGA director of athletics. “We are very grateful to ESPN for providing this opportunity to participate in such a prestigious event. Knowing that the game will be carried live on ESPN3 will make it accessible to the entire Coast Guard family, including active duty members throughout the United States and the world.” 

“We are thrilled to be a part of an event that is aimed at honoring those who serve our country,” said Kevin Jaskiewicz, USCGA men’s basketball coach. “Our guys are looking forward to playing on the base in front of other members of the Coast Guard and the added bonus of playing on ESPN3 just adds to the excitement.  It is a great opportunity for our program and we are looking forward to the trip.”

This will be the first ever men’s basketball meeting between Coast Guard and Hampden-Sydney.

“Hampden-Sydney College is proud to partner with the United States Coast Guard Academy in the 2014 Armed Forces Classic in Puerto Rico this November,” said Richard Epperson, director of athletics at Hampden-Sydney. “To play on the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen is truly an honor, and furthermore, to be on ESPN3 represents a unique opportunity to highlight Division III basketball and our respective institutions.  The entire weekend promises to be a once in a lifetime experience that our players, coaches, parents and fans will never forget.”

“We are extremely grateful to Coast Guard director of athletics Tim Fitzpatrick (a 1981 Hampden-Sydney grad) for the opportunity to play in the prestigious Armed Forces Classic,” said Dee Vick, HSC men’s basketball coach . “It will be a special moment for everyone involved to be able to play on the base in Puerto Rico. Our team, along with the entire Tiger faithful, looks forward to competing against the Coast Guard Academy in this ESPN3 event. “

The games are part of the network’s America’s Heroes: A Salute to Our Veterans initiative honoring the men and women who are serving and who have served in the United States military, both at home and abroad. The Armed Forces Classic is owned and operated by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN.