Runaway Spoon

Isn't that Joe Biden at a Hoyas basketball game ... IN CHINA?

August 17, 2011

In front of a spirited crowd that included Vice President Joe Biden, the Georgetown University men’s basketball team won its first game during an 11-day tour of China, beating the Shanxi Brave Dragons of the Chinese Basketball Association, 98-81, at the National Olympic Sports Center.

Now, let's talk trade strategy (Photo by: Georgetown Sports Information) Now, let's talk trade strategy

Biden arrived in Beijing on Wednesday evening and came in for the start of the game, visiting with Head Coach John Thompson III and the Hoyas in their locker-room prior to tip-off.  He sat with Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia during the game and left at halftime.

Freshman forward Otto Porter (Sikeston, Mo). scored 16 points to lead six players in double figures as the Hoyas connected on 47.0 percent of their field goals (34-of-71) and opened up a 13-point lead at the half, 55-42.

“This group has to manage itself, and so whether we win big or lose big while we’re over here, the purpose of this trip is to establish habits and how we need to do things,” Thompson said.  “We have a long ways to go.

“I’m glad some of those things happened (the VP attending) because life in the BIG EAST is one big distraction. Being fortunate enough to play at Georgetown, we have many events like this. 

Vice President Biden in the locker room (Photo by: Georgetown Sports Information) Vice President Biden in the locker room

“We were excited and honored to have the Vice President, as he said, traveled 24 hours to see us play, along with the many, countless Chinese politicians and delegates that came to watch their team play, as well as ours.”

The Brave Dragons won the opening tip, but the Hoyas were the first on the board after a three-pointer from junior forward Hollis Thompson (Los Angeles). 

The Hoyas play one more game in Beijing, on Thursday against the Bayi Rockets. They’ll play later on the trip in Shanghai. 

Biden’s boss – who is known to shoot a few hoops himself and has seen the Hoyas play previously --still has time to make one of those tip-offs.

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Beijing: crazier than M Street in Georgetown

August 16, 2011


The Georgetown men’s basketball team visited the famed Great Wall of China on Tuesday, parts of which are 26 feet high --  not exactly a sure bet place to practice slam dunks.

The Hoyas visited the “North Pass” of Juyongguan pass, known as the Badaling.  This portion of the Great Wall is approximately 16 feet wide—a free throw plus a foot.

The team checks out Chinese defense but it's a wall not man to man zone (Photo by: Georgetown Sports Information) The team checks out Chinese defense but it's a wall not man to man zone

Among the interesting sites along the highway on the road trip was that of Beijing’s Disney Land, which was never able to take off and had been sitting unused for nearly 10 years, the team learned.

Following their two-hour jaunt at the Great Wall, the Georgetown team practiced for the first time during their stay, working out at the Tiantan Sports Center, which houses the East Star Basketball Training Camp.

Before taking the court, Head Coach John Thompson III spoke to a group of approximately 20 Chinese boys and then had them do layup drills with members of the Georgetown team.  The Hoyas also worked on dribbling and defensive techniques with the youngsters.

Following the clinic, there was no rest for the young Hoyas; they worked out for nearly 90 minutes more.

Then, the team practiced their social graces at a reception hosted by Georgetown President John J. DeGioia on Tuesday night at the Pangu Hotel in Beijing, located directly across the street from the Bird’s Nest and the Water Cube, two of the spectacular facilities used for the 2008 Olympics.

Henry Sims & Aaron Bowen find it's not M Street (Photo by: Georgetown Sports Information) Henry Sims & Aaron Bowen find it's not M Street

The previous day, the team visited Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Silk Market in downtown Beijing.

“I’m still trying to get used to the traffic,” said sophomore Aaron Bowen of Jacksonville, Fla. “It just reminds me of a crazier M Street.”

Freshman Otto Porter of Sikeston, Mo., took time out to get his aching feet a massage at the Silk Market. “I feel like I’m floating,” he enthused. “My feet feel great now.”

That should make for a smooth-as-silk season back on the Hoyas’ court come this fall, let’s hope.

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