Thursday, November 12, 2015

Veterans Classic Teams Tour Naval Academy

Players and staff from the Temple University Owls, University of Florida Gators, and University of North Carolina Tar Heels basketball teams were given a guided tour of the U. S. Naval Academy Nov. 12.

The teams are in town for the second annual Veterans Classic doubleheader, bringing together top teams from across the country in celebration of Veterans Day.

“We’re hoping that this tour not only welcomes these teams to Annapolis for their tournament but also gives them some insight into what we do here at the academy,” said Chet Gladchuk, USNA athletic director. “We hope that everyone enjoys the time they spend here over the next couple of days and gets to learn a little something along the way.”

The tour highlighted USNA and brought each team to many areas of significance around the Yard, including Luce Hall, where they participated in driving a ship in an indoor ship training simulator; Bancroft Hall, which houses the entire brigade of midshipmen; and Memorial Hall, which commemorates USNA alumni who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

“This is my first time here so it’s pretty amazing to see what the midshipmen get to experience while being in the presence of so many wonderful people,” said Joel James, forward for the North Carolina Tar Heels. “Coming here is a great opportunity to play for our veterans and I feel more than grateful for the chance to do so.”

During the tour, members of the three teams learned about the moral, mental and physical mission of the academy, the rank structure among the brigade, and experienced a small part of the daily lives of midshipmen during noon meal formation.

“It’s absolutely amazing here and I never thought I’d get the opportunity to do something like this,” said Devontae Watson, forward for the Temple University Owls. “I truly appreciate getting the chance to be here, see everything, and play for the troops.”

The games will be held in Alumni Hall Nov. 13. Carolina plays Temple at 7 p.m. Navy and Florida play at 9:30 p.m.

Both games will be televised on CBS Sports Network. There will also be the Inside College Basketball pregame show on CBS Sports Network at 6:30 PM (ET) prior to the first contest, which will include footage of the tours the three visiting teams received.

See more photos of the tour at the Naval Academy Flickr page.

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