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Michigan State Men’s Basketball Team Tours USS Abraham Lincoln

Photo: MSU Athletics

SAN DIEGO, California, November 11, 2022 ~ Michigan State‘s men’s basketball team arrived in San Diego late Wednesday, and after a Thursday morning of film and game preparation, boarded a bus to get their first look at the USS Abraham Lincoln.

The Spartans (1-0) will face No. 2 Gonzaga (1-0) in the Armed Forces Classic Carrier Edition tonight, Friday, November 11, on a court built on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier. The game will air live on both ESPN and on 760 WJR, with tip at 6:30 p.m.


November 11, 2022 ~ MSU Basketball Coach Tom Izzo talks live from San Diego with Sean, Steve, and Mark Hackel, as the Spartans get ready to take-on Gonzaga in tonight’s Armed Forces Classic Carrier Edition.

(CONTINUED) Head Coach Tom Izzo arrived early in the afternoon and took part in a sit-down interview with ESPN Sports Analyst Jay Bilas, along with Gonzaga Head Coach Mark Few, and Captain Amy Bauernschmidt, the executive officer of the USS Abraham Lincoln, and the first woman to command a US aircraft carrier.

The Spartans arrived just before 2 p.m. and received a tour of the carrier, visiting the flight deck (where the game will be played on Friday afternoon), the hangar bay, and the command center of the ship.

The aircraft carrier is nearly 1,000 feet long (about the length of three football fields), with a 4.5 acre flight deck that’s capable of launching 70 to 80 aircraft in under 15-minutes.

It was incredible,” sophomore guard Jaden Akins said.  “Just to see the size of the ship, but then to tour the flight deck and the hangar and see how enormous it is really puts it into perspective.

When you participate in one of these things, it’s an experience,” Coach Izzo said. “It’s hard to explain. You get to play a game here, but then you get to interact with the sailors who live and work here and they are so thankful that we’re here, and probably five days later, they’re probably going out to sea for seven months.” 

It gets real. It’s kind of a fuzzy feeling of realty, and I appreciate it a lot.

Coverage of tonight’s Spartans / Gonzoga game start at 5:30 p.m. on 760 WJR.