March 8, 2011
WASHINGTON - Georgetown's global presence will be enhanced this summer when the men's basketball team tours China to participate in a range of athletic, educational and cultural activities during a two-week tour. The team will depart on Aug. 13 and return to Washington, D.C. on Aug. 27.
The Hoyas will arrive in Beijing and spend time there before heading to Shanghai. In each city the team - and other Georgetown representatives - will meet with Chinese officials and university alumni and participate in cultural and community service programs in addition to playing exhibition basketball games.
"This trip marks an opportunity for us to deepen our engagement in China by incorporating athletics into our efforts," said Georgetown President John J. DeGioia. "Our outreach with China is designed to promote dialogue and understanding across cultures. This is the first time one of our athletic teams has traveled to China and the trip will bring the team's excitement to a nation of avid fans with a rich history and tradition."
Georgetown has ties to Shanghai and Beijing and more than 20 partnerships with entities in China, ranging from academic exchanges with faculty and students to executive leadership programs and collaborations with the Center for Religious Studies of State Administration for Religious Affairs and the Central Party School, among others. Students regularly study in China as part of study abroad opportunities, executive education and courses related to MBA, language immersion, global health and other academic programs. More than 150 senior Chinese government officials and executives have graduated from Georgetown's Global Education Institute and the university has more than 1,800 other alumni living throughout China and Southeast Asia.
"We are very excited at the opportunity for our team to experience a different culture and to use the vehicle of our sport to help build relationships in an international setting," Head Coach John Thompson III said. "This a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our team and it is a trip that will allow the members of our program to experience the history of China. We are honored to have the opportunity to represent Georgetown University."
During the trip, the Hoyas will play a series of three or four exhibition games against yet to be determined teams.
"This trip provides a tremendous opportunity for our basketball program to serve as ambassadors for our school and the sport," said Lee Reed, director of intercollegiate athletics. "The planning process for this trip is very involved and we are working hard to finalize our games and schedule, but we are very excited about the chance to visit China."
In 1978, the People's Republic of China sent its first national basketball team to the United States to play a series of games. The first game the Chinese team played was against Georgetown, a contest held at the D.C. Armory that ended in a tie in a show of sportsmanship by the teams.