Michigan State’s athletic director, Mark Hollis, shared plans with ESPN Wednesday for a four-team “barnstorming event” to occur over winter break in 2018.
According to ESPN.com, Hollis has organized a three-city, four-team tour that includes Michigan State, North Carolina, Florida and Texas playing games in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles. Each team will play three games in an eight day period, one in each city.
“It’s a very cool idea,” Tom Izzo told ESPN. “At first I thought it was crazy, but it’s during break so we don’t miss any school. It’s three big games in a row, and with the ACC-Big Ten Challenge and other events we could have six or seven big games.”
Unprecedentedly, the teams will travel together on a charter plane to each of the three cities. During the eight days, the four teams will visit popular attractions together including the 9/11 Memorial, Disneyland and a Chicago pizza dinner.
Hollis confirmed that all four schools, coaches and athletic directors have confirmed their participation.
“So many of these kids know each other from AAU and everything else that we felt this would be a great way to travel,” Hollis said. “I worked with Steve Patterson at Texas, Jeremy Foley at Florida and Bubba Cunningham at North Carolina on this. They and the head coaches are all excited about the opportunity for the student-athletes.”
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Since early January, Hollis has been dropping clues about the “barnstormer” on his Twitter feed.
2018 will be a good year to travel with friends.
— Mark Hollis (@MSUAD) January 10, 2014
2018 no passport necessary.
— Mark Hollis (@MSUAD) January 12, 2014
Good chance it will be a little windy in 2018. Just saying …
— Mark Hollis (@MSUAD) January 16, 2014
All it takes is a friend and a little hocus-pocus to make it all come together ….
— Mark Hollis (@MSUAD) January 17, 2014
Better city for pizza — Chicago or New York?
— Mark Hollis (@MSUAD) January 22, 2014
Nathaniel Gaynor is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.
Photo: David Defever/Impact Sports