Plans for next two Armed Forces Classic events announced

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The Armed Forces Classic has become one of the most notable early-season events, with college basketball programs opening their season in a game meant to honor those who have and are currently serving in the nation’s military. Friday morning plans for the next two games were revealed, with Gonzaga and Pittsburgh meeting next season and a doubleheader marking the fifth year of the event on November 11, 2016.

Gonzaga and Pittsburgh will meet at the Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler in Okinawa, Japan next November.

“It is truly an honor to have the opportunity to play in such a great event,” Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon said in a release. “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 2016, the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii will host a doubleheader just weeks ahead of the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Indiana and Kansas will meet in one of the games, with Arizona and Michigan State meeting in the other.

“It’s a special honor for our program to take part in the Armed Forces Classic at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in 2016,” Arizona head coach Sean Miller said in a release from Arizona. “The Armed Forces Classic is a first-class event that pays tribute to the brave men and women of the United States military.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to honor them as representatives of the University of Arizona.”

Michigan State participated in the first Armed Forces Classic game at Rammstein Air Force Base, falling to UConn in November 2013. Oregon won last season’s edition, with Louisville and Minnesota meeting Friday evening at the Ari Station Borinquen in Puerto Rico.