The University of Pittsburgh Basketball team will open its 2015-16 season in the Armed Forces Classic against Gonzaga in Okinawa, Japan, ESPN announced Friday morning. The game will be played on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015 at Camp Smedley D. Butler Marine Corps Base in Okinawa, Japan.
The contest will be televised nationally on ESPN as part of the network’s America’s Heroes: A Salute to Our Veterans. The initiative honors the men and women who are serving and who have served in the United States military, both at home and abroad.
“It is truly an honor to have the opportunity to play in such a great event,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. “Our goal is always to play in college basketball’s top events and the Armed Forces Classic certainly ranks among the best. The trip will also provide an opportunity for our players, coaches, administration and support staff to experience day-to-day life on an overseas military base.”
In its third year since its creation in 2012, the Armed Forces Classic is a series of NCAA Division I college basketball games that are played on United States military bases worldwide over a five-year rotation. Past Armed Forces Classic games have taken place at Ramstein Air Base in Germany (2012: Connecticut vs. Michigan State) and Camp Humphreys in Korea (2013: Georgetown vs. Oregon). This year’s event will be played at CGAS Borinquen in Puerto Rico (Louisville vs. Minnesota today at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN).
Pitt and Gonzaga will meet for the first time in men’s basketball.
Pitt opens its 2014-15 season tonight against Niagara at the Petersen Events Center. Tipoff for the ESPN3 contest is at 7 p.m. ET. Pitt also hosts Samford on Sunday, Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. ET.