Runaway Spoon

Georgetown plays Taiwan team ... in Shanghai

August 23, 2011

Could it be that ping-pong diplomacy has advanced to the level of playing hoops?

The Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team scrimmaged against the Chinese Taipei National Team Tuesday – in Shanghai, China!   It’s the final competition of Georgetown’s adventurous trip to China.  A Taiwan team in China for a scrimmage with the Hoyas sends up a stream of positive vibes, at least on the hardwood court.

That scrimmage is the final competition of the Hoyas’ adventurous trip to China.

Georgetown won against the Chinese Taipei National Team 83 to 64.

Earlier, after working with Chinese youth and coaches at special clinics at Nike’s Festival of Sport facility, the team enjoyed a leisurely day in Shanghai on Monday. After shopping, they met up afterwards at the United States Consulate – a place the tour guide said was commonly referred to by most people as “Starbucks.”

Greg Whittington shows how to Just Do It. (Photo by: Georgetown Sports Information) Greg Whittington shows how to Just Do It.

Street vendors hawked a variety of items, mostly watches.  Hoyas strength and conditioning coach Mike Hill, Head Athletic Trainer Shawn Hendi and Sports Information Director Mex Carey each came away with new watches-- let’s hope the instruments keep ticking longer than those knock-offs sold by Manhattan’s street traders. 

Following the visit to Old Shanghai, the Hoyas toured the Shanghai World Financial Center, the super-tall skyscraper in Pudong that is the second-tallest building in the world.  The view of the city from the observation deck was described as amazing by team.

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Take this ball ...and bounce it!

August 20, 2011

Fresh from their unscheduled exposure to ultimate fighting, the Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team turned to football drills, treadmill competition and playing another exhibition game as their China trip moved from Beijing to Shanghai.

The team relaxed at a Festival of Sport, being held in Shanghai and considered to be the most comprehensive sporting event in China since the 2008 Olympic Games. 

NBA stars Amare Stoudamire of the New York Knicks, Tyson Chandler of the Dallas Mavericks and Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers cheered as the Georgetown Coach John Thompson III’s men’s basketball team defeated the Liaoning Dinosaurs in Shanghai on Sunday.

It was Georgetown’s first game since arriving in Shanghai and the teams’s first action since the now-internationally famous brawling matchup in Beijing against the Bayi Rockets that ended as heated exchanges erupted between the teams.

Some 1,000 basketball fans showed up at the court built by Nike for its Festival of Sport in Shanghai. Jason Clark led the Hoyas with 17 points in the 91-69 victory.

“If you looked at the events that happened the other day, that’s not the norm.  The reception that our team got today and the atmosphere here today was much more consistent with what we anticipated, and what we experienced in every game and event since we’ve been here,” said Thompson. 

According to Hoya player Nate Lubick, things proceeded with flair in a visit to the waterfront of the Yangtze River in Shanghai. "It took the team about 20 minutes to be able to gather up and get a picture on the waterfront without any locals running/poising through to get photos with us Americans."

From there, he said, "the team made its premiere at a Chinese McDonalds...(it) served as no disappointment with its standard American cuisine, satisfying all of the young men, most of the young kids, and even some members of the Hoya Hoop Club walked out with smiles on their faces." He reported, however, that Scott Greenman, the programs director, referred to the lunch choice as "questionable."

Later, they attended a reception with Georgetown President John J. DeGioia, and "the food was an immediate bingo for the team which has been cherishing any type of Americanized Chinese food we can get our hands on."

The banquet was attended by "a surprisingly large amount of Hoya alumni who are currently living in Shanghai," said Lubick.  "It is amazing to see how far the Georgetown community extends, and to have so many different types of people at different stages of their lives, connected by Georgetown, in one room, was very special."

Before leaving Beijing, Coach Thompson  and two team members met … and traded souvenirs.  It was a peaceful aftermath to the brawl that broke out between the teams during the second half of their game Thursday.  Knock-downs, kicks, chair-swinging, and bottle-throwing erupted during a melee that landed on U.S. front pages and network newscasts.

In Shanghai,  Thompson and the Hoyas hosted clinics for Chinese youths.




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So much for diplomacy...bring on the security

August 18, 2011

After the much-publicized wild brawl between the Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball team and a Chinese team, one can expect beefed-up security for the remainder of the team’s 11-day trip in Asia.

Georgetown's Head Coach John Thompson III and two of the team’s student-athletes met with members of the Bayi Rockets on Friday morning following the now-famous exhibition game on Thursday.  Both teams presented an autographed ball as a gift.

The coaches expressed interest in future exchanges, with Thompson inviting Chinese youth players to the Hoya summer camp next year.

The very cordial meeting was attended by Thompson, Bayi Head Coach Adejiang, Georgetown senior Jason Clark, Georgetown junior Hollis Thompson, and Rockets players Chen Yu and Lehei De. 

Next up is competition in the Nike Sports Festival in Shanghai this weekend.

As the onsite national media reported it, in the fourth quarter of the tight game against one of China’s best teams, Georgetown Hoyas’ Thompson III pulled the team off the court after benches cleared and Chinese fans tossed plastic bottles at the Hoya players and coaches.  The Chinese also threw chairs onto the court.  It was Twitter nirvana for reporters and fans who witnessed the fight.

The Beijing mêlée broke out after a Georgetown guard was trapped in a press and pushed to the floor. Chinese players furiously kicked a Hoya player as he struggled to get up.

A master of protocol, Thompson, quickly issued the following statement following the ugly brawl. A copy was e-mailed to The Georgetown Dish.

“Tonight, two great teams played a very competitive game that unfortunately ended after heated exchanges with both teams. We sincerely regret that this situation occurred. We remain grateful for the opportunity our student-athletes are having to engage in a sport they love here in China, while strengthening their understanding of a nation we respect and admire at Georgetown University.”


“Crazy evening,” a Georgetown University sports staffer on the scene told The Dish.

While on his trip to China for economic talks, Vice President Biden attended a game the night before the ruckus game was played.

Also in China for exhibition games is Duke’s basketball team – a series which seems to be going peacefully and uneventfully.


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