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Navy men's hoops to play Terps for first time since 1985, teams meet in Veterans Classic

Posted: 7:47 PM, Nov 08, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-09 04:34:02Z

It’s a basketball showcase for our nation’s bravest. 

“It’s a vehicle that we drive to really honor our veterans,” said Navy head coach Ed DeChellis.

And this year it’s a can’t miss night for college hoops junkies around the state.

“It’s a great opportunity for our local fans to see outstanding college talent and college players,” added DeChellis.

On Friday Navy men’s hoops will host the fifth annual Veterans Classic. 

Two games to pay tribute to our country’s armed forces. 

“It’s definitely more than a basketball game,” said Navy center Evan Wieck. “They come here and see the military way of life and what we stand for.”

The Midshipmen’s opponent: the Maryland Terrapins.

“We look forward to a battle,” said DeChellis. “We’re going to run around and scrap around and fight and battle and see what we can do.”

“We’re neighbors. We haven’t played in a long time but it will definitely be a high-energy game,” added Wieck.

This will be the first time the Midshipmen play the Terps since David Robinson and the Naval Academy lost to Len Bias and Maryland in the second round of the 1985 NCAA Tournament.  It’ll be the first time the two programs have tipped of in Annapolis since February of 1969.

Isaiah Burnett is from Annapolis and used to dream about playing for the Terps. He’s also former travel ball teammates with Maryland Freshman Jalen Smith.

“I was pretty excited to see Maryland on the schedule,” said Burnett. “Hometown kid, a lot of people around town can come watch me play. To be able to play against them is a pretty awesome feeling for me.”

It’s already been a pretty special ride over from College Park for the Terps. The team got a tour of the Naval Academy grounds on Thursday.

Maryland enters the game 1-0 after beating Delaware. Navy lost Tuesday’s season-opener at Old Dominion. 

The Mids-Terps game will be the second contest of a Friday doubleheader inside Navy’s Alumni Hall.  Providence plays Wichita State at 6:00 p.m.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook