CORONADO, Calif. (AP) The fighter jets are gone from the flight deck, and in their place is a gleaming basketball court surrounded by bright green bleachers.
The temporary arena contrasts with the gray of the 100,000-ton Navy warship that buried Osama bin Laden at sea and will now host the first Carrier Classic.
Crews built a court on the deck of the docked ship earlier this week. The time-lapse video shows the work taking place over two days.
Friday's historic basketball game -- set for 7 pm eastern time -- between North Carolina and Michigan State aboard the USS Carl Vinson couldn't have come at a more opportune time for a Navy facing deep defense cuts.
Officials plan to seize the spotlight to showcase the Navy and its carriers to the more than 3 million viewers expected to watch the game on ESPN on Veterans Day.
But they add that the event's main purpose is to celebrate those who serve in the military.
Even if it's windy on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson on Friday Michigan State coach Tom Izzo says the game between the Spartans and No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels will be a "memory-maker."
After all, Izzo says, no one has played a college hoops game aboard an active flat top before.
President Barack Obama is scheduled to attend, and Magic Johnson and James Worthy will be honorary captains for their alma maters. Most of the approximately 7,000 tickets will go to military personnel.
Based on the latest weather forecast, organizer Mike Whalen says the game will be played on the flight deck. Had the threat of rain been greater, the game would have been moved below to the hangar deck.
The Carl Vinson conducted Osama bin Laden's burial at sea after he was killed by Navy SEALs in a raid ordered by Obama.