L.A. Lakers: Laker Greats Honor Our Nation's Veterans

William Van NollFeatured ColumnistNovember 11, 2011

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 11:  Basketball hall-of-famer and Michigan State Spartans alum Earvin 'Magic' Johnson talks with members of the United States Armed Forces before the North Carolina Tar Heels take on the Spartans in the NCAA men's college basketball Carrier Classic aboard the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson on November 11, 2011 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

This Veteran's Day, two Laker greats honored our nation's military men and women during the 2011 Quicken Loans Carrier Classic, the inaugural college basketball game held aboard the flight deck of the U.S.S. Carl Vinson in Coronado, CA.

This newfound Veteran's Day tradition placed the No. 1-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels against the Big Ten powerhouse Michigan State Spartans.

Laker legends Magic Johnson and James Worthy served as honorary captains for their schools Michigan State and North Carolina, respectively.

Johnson and Worthy were joined by President Obama to celebrate our nation's military on Veteran's Day. The Quicken Loans Carrier Classic is estimated to be watched by three million people nationwide.

The U.S.S. Carl Vinson is part of the nation's Naval supercarrier fleet and is famous for its first-strike capabilities and serving a role in the United States' operations targeting Osama Bin Laden.

The James Worthy Foundation has been active in helping military veterans through community initiatives that provide resources to empower military men and women upon their return from active duty. 

Prior to the game, Magic Johnson donated $1 million to his alma mater Michigan State.