Navy-Marine Corps Classic will highlight basketball powerhouses
Mayor Alvin Brown and U. S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced that Jacksonville will be the host of the Navy-Marine Corps Classic men’s basketball game featuring the University of Florida and Georgetown University on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012. The game will take place at Naval Station Mayport and is expected to be broadcast on national television. The Navy-Marine Corps Classic continues the tradition begun last year.
Mayor Brown also was joined by Jacksonville Jaguars President Mark Lamping, whose team will help lead in the city’s week-long military appreciation activities.
“This is a unique way to say thank you to our military while putting Jacksonville on display for countless sports fans tuning in from all over the globe,” said Mayor Brown. “My staff, especially Sports and Entertainment Director Alan Verlander and the military affairs department, worked tirelessly on the details of this high-profile event to ensure a quality product that would boost Jacksonville’s profile as one of America’s most military-friendly cities.”
Mayor Brown has prioritized an increase of support for Jacksonville’s military and veterans communities by elevating military affairs to a cabinet-level position. He launched Jobs for Veterans, a public-private partnership with 77 participating companies offering workforce information and jobs to help military men and women transition to civilian life. Roughly one of every four people in Jacksonville has a connection to the military and the city’s military installations together are responsible for more than $14 billion in regional economic impact.
Proceeds from this event will benefit programs supporting Mayor Brown and Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan’s vision for transitional housing for veterans.
"The Navy is excited to work with the city of Jacksonville and Naval Station Mayport to bring the Navy-Marine Corps Classic to the First Coast," Mabus said. "The Navy is America's Away Team; when we are on the job, we operate forward around the globe and often out of sight of the American people. This is a unique opportunity to showcase the Navy, and to join together to honor our veterans and active duty military."
The two programs are among the nation’s elite. Both teams have won NCAA National Championships in men’s basketball.
“We’re honored to take part in such a special event, and one that brings recognition to the United States Navy and Marine Corps,” said University of Florida head coach Billy Donovan. “The U.S. Navy has a long and storied history in the city of Jacksonville, and this should be a truly special night. To be able to play an opponent and program the caliber of Georgetown in a city that means so much to the Gator Nation is something we’re proud to be a part of.”
Georgetown University head coach John Thompson, III stated, “It is a tremendous honor for our team to be involved with an event that will recognize the contributions of the United States Navy and all of our military. It will be an incredible learning experience for all involved with our program. We appreciate the opportunity to participate in this historic game with Florida in Jacksonville.”