Illinois Basketball to Scrimmage West Virginia at NATO Air Force Base in Italy


illini logoWest Virginia cheerleaders

It is impressive that the Michigan State Spartans and North Carolina Tar Heels will take on each other in college basketball aboard the deck of an aircraft carrier. But don’t sell the Illinois Fighting Illini and West Virginia Mountaineers short. The two basketball teams will visit Aviano Air Base on Aug. 17 during their upcoming Italian tours.

While at the base, the Illini and Mountaineers will hold a clinic for children of the troops, participate in a dunk contest, and scrimmage against select military personnel. The visit will conclude with the piece de resistance: Illinois-West Virginia in an exhibition scrimmage consisting of two 10-minute halves. It’s Big East versus Big Ten on the NATO air base in Italy.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to visit the Aviano Air Base and thank the outstanding men and women who are serving there,” Head Coach Bruce Weber said. “Participating in the youth clinic and scrimmages should provide a fun and rewarding experience for everyone. We’re grateful the NCAA has granted a waiver for our team to partner with West Virginia for this special event, so that we can recognize and show our appreciation of the dedicated service of the U.S. Armed Forces.”

The Fighting Illini depart for Europe on Aug. 10 and return to the United States on Aug. 20.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports 

He does regular weekly radio spots in Chicago and Cleveland and has appeared on live shows all across the world from Houston to New Zealand. You can follow him on Twitter

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