Florida Gators Prepare for Navy-Marine Corps Classic

Florida Gators Prepare for Navy-Marine Corps Classic


THE GATORS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
MEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM ARE PREPARING TO PLAY ONE OF THE MOST MEMORABLE GAMES OF THEIR LIVES
IN THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS CLASSIC ON THE FLIGHT DECK OF USS BATAAN. “WELL, WE WERE VERY, VERY HONORED WHEN WE
GOT A PHONE CALL ABOUT PLAYING ON THE USS BATAAN IN JACKSONVILLE. YOU KNOW, FOR US,
IT WAS SOMETHING WE WANTED TO BE A PART OF.” THE GATORS WILL BE ONE OF ONLY FOUR COLLEGE
BASKETBALL TEAMS WHO EVER PLAYED ON THE FLIGHT DECK OF A U.S. NAVY WARSHIP. AN EXPERIENCE
THAT SENIOR POINT GUARD KENNY BOYNTON WILL NOT FORGET. “I NEVER THOUGHT I’D HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY
IN MY FOUR YEARS, YOU KNOW, TO PLAY ON A SHIP. MY FIRST TIME SEEING IT WAS LAST YEAR, AND
I THOUGHT IT WAS EXCITING. I FEEL HONORED, I MEAN, HONESTLY YOU KNOW, I THINK WE LOOK
AT THEM AS CELEBRITIES, YOU KNOW, THEY GO OUT EVERY DAY AND FIGHT FOR OUR COUNTRY. I
THINK IT’S A ONCE IN A LIFETIME THING AND I’M DEFINITELY GONNA ENJOY IT.” “THEY SPEND LONG MONTHS OUT THERE ON THE WATER
AND TIME AWAY FROM THEIR FAMILIES, SO HOPEFULLY WE CAN GIVE THEM SOME ENTERTAINMENT. IT’D
BE NICE TO COME AWAY WITH A WIN, TOO, BUT IT’S MOSTLY JUST ABOUT THEM.” THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS CLASSIC IS BEING
HELD BY THE CITY OF JACKSONVILLE AND WILL FEATURE TWO STORIED PROGRAMS, THE UNIVERSITY
OF FLORIDA GATORS AND THE GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY HOYAS. “I’VE ALWAYS TOLD OUR GUYS THAT WHEN THEY’RE
OUT THERE COMPETING, THERE’S A LOT MORE PEOPLE THAN THEY CAN EVEN REALIZE ARE BEING IMPACTED.
SAILORS AROUND THE WORLD MAY BE WATCHING THE GAME, SAILORS COMING OUT A JACKSONVILLE TO
BE A PART OF THE GAME. I THINK OUR BASKETBALL TEAM AND THESE YOUNG GUYS HAVE A REAL, REAL
OPPORTUNITY TO IMPACT SO MANY DIFFERENT PEOPLE’S LIVES.” FOR NAVY PUBLIC AFFAIRS SUPPORT ELEMENT, I’M
PETTY OFFICER IAN ANDERSON.

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