Being students at North Carolina and Michigan State comes with a lot of perks, especially during basketball season. From November until (usually very, very late) March, our campuses are consumed by one thing and one thing only: basketball. Together, we boast seven national championships and 26 Final Fours. In 2009, the Tar Heels and the Spartans met in the title game, with the Heels taking home the trophy.
This Veterans Day, our two schools will meet once again. This time, though, it won’t be inside a dome or a gymnasium or in front of a crowd of rabid alumni. It will be on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson, in front of active duty and retired military personnel and their Commander In Chief, President Obama. Our two championship teams will play each other in a special game to honor our nation’s veterans.
Occasions like this remind players, coaches, and fans alike what really matters. On Friday, we will cheer with every ounce of our emotion when our teams take to the court on the USS Carl Vinson’s Deck. But when the final buzzer sounds, students from the losing school will not feel the disappointment that usually comes after dropping a big game. Above all, we will be honored and humbled to have spent Veterans Day thanking our servicemembers by putting on a show for them.
On behalf of college students nationwide, this Tar Heel and this Spartan would like to wish our heroes a happy Veterans Day. Enjoy the game.