Veterans and current service members enjoy free admission to Timberwolves vs. Raiders double-header

NCMC Athletics and the men’s and women’s basketball teams will honor veterans and active-duty military on Saturday, February 3, when the Timberwolves face the Grand Rapids Community College Raiders at 1 p.m. at Petoskey Plastics Arena.

Veterans and active-duty military will receive free admission to NCMC’S second annual Military Appreciation Games. All Timberwolf players will be wearing special warmups to honor past and present service members.

“One of the goals of our athletic program is developing student-athletes who are leaders on our campus and in our community, and gratitude is an important leadership quality,” said Athletic Director Ashley Antonishen. “Our Military Appreciation Games are a small but sincere gesture of gratitude and appreciation for our veterans and military service members.”

Antonishen added that themed games like the Military Appreciation Games and the Hunger Games — which collected more than 400 pounds of food for the Campus Cupboard student food pantry last year — are important to players and coaches. Men’s basketball head coach Jeff Corcoran agrees.

“I think after the last several years with current events, we have gotten away from honoring those who have put us in a position to participate in this game,” Corcoran said. “Those men and women deserve our recognition and thanks, and it will be nice to do so through our athletic program.”

Sophomore guard Julius Smith will play in honor of his uncle, Ronnie Smith, a veteran who played high school basketball for Corcoran.

“Ronnie dedicated his service for our country,” Smith said. “I’m glad he is my uncle, and I’m proud to rep his name on the back of my shirt for our warmups.”

Sophomore guard Caley Zukowski said she is grateful for the freedom to play the sport she loves while attending college.  

“To practice the everlasting gratitude we have for the veterans who fought for our right to pursue a higher education, we must celebrate them in everything we do,” she said.

The women tip off against GRCC at 1 p.m. Men’s tip-off follows at 3 p.m. A live stream will be provided for fans who are unable to attend the games in person. Watch the live stream at