Take this ball ...and bounce it!

Photo by Christina Ciocca, Georgetown University
The friendly aftermath in Beijing: Coach Thompson, Hoya players Jason Clark & Hollis Thompson exchange signed basketballs.
The friendly aftermath in Beijing: Coach Thompson, Hoya players Jason Clark & Hollis Thompson exchange signed basketballs.

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.