Georgetown Gets Shanghai’d in China

Posted by rtmsf on August 18th, 2011

Update:  with video!  WOW.

Crazy story from Beijing surfacing today involving the Georgetown basketball team while on an 11-day exhibition tour of China.  According to published reports, the Hoyas were playing a local team called the Bayi Rockets in a physically intense game that witnessed a total of 39 first half fouls.  Georgetown had been whistled for a ridiculous 28 of those, many of which had players from both sides jawing with each other and officials hustling to maintain control of the game.  At the 9:32 mark of the fourth quarter, forward Hu Ke committed a hard foul on Hoya senior Jason Clark.  The two started shoving each other, leading to total chaos on the floor.  From the Washington Post:

Malice in the Olympic Sports Arena? (sina.com)

What began as a goodwill trip to China for the Georgetown men’s basketball team turned violent Thursday night, when its exhibition game against the Bayi Rockets deteriorated into a melee during which players exchanged blows, chairs were thrown and spectators tossed full water bottles as Hoyas players and coaches headed to the locker room at Olympic Sports Center Stadium.

More photos here, courtesy of the DC Sports Bog.  This thing looks intense, and there are reports that those plastic chairs sitting on the left side of the above photo were tossed around.

This report from the HoyaSaxa message board from someone who was there describes the volatile scene.

This Photo Shows What Appears to be a Chinese Coach/Trainer Getting Into the Action (WaPo)

Two minutes into the fourth, they were pressing full court, trapped one of our guards (I forget who it was), and then must have pushed or punched him on the ground after he made the outlet pass, because then there was a shoving match and then a bit of a fight, and then the whole thing set off. He tried to get away as quickly as possible as the Chinese players sort of converged on him, and then benches cleared, and then people on the Chinese bench started picking up chairs. Everyone on the other side of the court started fighting as well. Brawl spread all over the court, and then off the court. After it kicked off it immediately became possible for the crowd to get involved, and then they did. As we tried to get the team off the court, bottles (plastic ones, thankfully) came out of the crowd at the team and everyone left. Security was there (sort of), but it was more equivalent to mall cop-quality security rather than actual security. The Georgetown staff wanted the security to get on the floor, but honestly these guys didn’t have a clue what to do. They escorted the whole alumni contingent out fairly quickly after that.

More and more schools have been taking these overseas trips in recent years because it provides a great opportunity for teams to bond with each other as well as to get an extra couple of weeks of practice time under their belts before things officially begin in mid-October.  But playing foreign teams using questionable officials in their home arenas is always a delicate situation.  Even with modern security details on hand, local customs and norms will still dictate, and when things go badly (as they clearly did yesterday in Beijing), a team may not have anybody but themselves to cover their backs.  Frankly, with chairs flying around and an irate crowd on hand at the Olympic Sports Center Stadium, John Thompson, III, and company probably feel relieved that nobody was hurt.

rtmsf (3724 Posts)


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