Now that the 2012 Carrier Classic is set, Morale Entertainment Foundation's sights are set on pursuing additional carrier basketball games with the 2012 All-Military Classic aboard the USS Yorktown in Charleston, S.C., and a 2013 Carrier Classic return to San Diego.
The 2012 Carrier Classic is a men's and women's basketball double-header set for the opening day of the season on Nov. 9 aboard the Yorktown, a retired World War II carrier in Charleston Harbor. The Ohio State men will play Marquette and the Ohio State women will face Notre Dame, last year's NCAA runner-up.
"Morale Entertainment wants to build on the overwhelming success of 2011 Carrier Classic by including a women's game to highlight the contributions of our female members of the Armed Forces," said Morale Entertainment director Mike Whalen.
"During our visits downrange (front lines) over the past five years, we have learned anywhere between 17 and 27 percent of the troops in the AOR (Area of Responsibility) are female. We at Morale have felt their contributions have been under-reported and under-appreciated."
Morale also hopes to stage the 2012 All-Military Classic aboard the Yorktown Nov. 10-11. The annual four-team tournament involving Army, Air Force, VMI and host The Citadel is already set for that same first weekend of the season at Citadel's McAlister Field House.
But if Morale can secure sponsorship and a television deal for the All-Military Classic, Whalen said Citadel athletic director Larry Leckonby and basketball coach Chuck Driesell support Morale's plan to stage games on the Yorktown.
"We remain committed to playing the All-Military Classic on the Yorktown," Whalen said. "We think it would be a great addition to the Carrier Classic. We are working diligently to make it become reality."
The second day of the All-Military Classic is on Nov. 11, Veteran's Day. Last year's 11-11-11 inaugural Carrier Classic fell on the first day of the season. This year's Nov. 9 Carrier Classic marks the first day of the 2012-13 season.
The Yorktown is docked at Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum in Charleston Harbor. The Yorktown will have its flattop rearranged to set up a basketball court with seating for about 4,000 fans. The final number will be determined by state and local fire marshals.
The 2012 Carrier Classic follows last year's inaugural event in San Diego that grabbed the national spotlight when North Carolina defeated Michigan State aboard the USS Carl Vinson with President Obama in attendance.
In 2013, Morale is considering East and West editions of the Carrier Classic that would include returning to San Diego if an active carrier is available in port.
Besides Charleston and San Diego, Morale officials have been in talks with New Orleans and Corpus Christi, Texas. Morale anticipates expanding the Carrier Classic to a tournament format in 2013 and 2014.
The 2012 Carrier Classic will benefit the following organizations: Congressional Medal of Honor Society, Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, Patriots Point and the Wounded Warrior Project based in Jacksonville, Fla. These organizations will receive no-cost tickets to the game for distribution. The 2011 Carrier Classic provided nearly $500,000 to the beneficiaries.
Ticket information can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org.