Hoyas Win in Beijing as Biden Cheers Team
August 17, 2011 – U.S. Vice President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Beijing’s Olympic Sports Center as the men’s basketball team beat the Shanxi Zhongyu Brave Dragons, 98-81.
The vice president along with newly appointed Ambassador to China Gary Locke gave the team a pre-game pep talk and visited with alumni and fans in the arena at the Hoyas' first exhibition game during the 10-day visit to China.
“It was an honor to have Vice President Biden and Ambassador Locke with us for our game, cheering on the team and supporting our Georgetown community,” said university president John J. DeGioia. “It made the evening that much more special.”
The Hoyas will play their second game in Beijing on Aug. 18 against the Bayi Rockets at Beijing’s Olympic Sports Center.
Getting Ready for Game Day
Before taking the court for a first day of practice, men’s basketball coach John Thompson III spoke to a group of about 20 young local athletes who were just completing camp. He then led them in lay-up drills, dribbling exercises and defensive techniques with members of the Georgetown team.
“We want to leave here with more appreciation for the responsibility that we have as a program – and that these young men have – because of the opportunities that they have to touch and to help other people,” Thompson said.
Hoyas Coming Together
The first three days in Beijing included outings to historic sights including Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden Palace and the Great Wall. The team also engaged with the alumni community in Beijing during reception and panel discussion a day before the exhibition game.
The Georgetown panel discussion, “Global Universities and Diplomacy,” featured Thompson; Anthony Hutchinson, senior cultural affairs officer at the U.S. Embassy in China; Rev. Dennis McNamara, S.J., professor of sociology and Korean Studies and special assistant to the president for China Affairs at Georgetown; and Paul Tagliabue, board of directors chair.
“It was such a great opportunity to see so many other Beijing alums at the event last night and also to connect with Hoyas from across the U.S.,” said Tyler Zacharia (SFS’06), president of the Beijing Club.
University organizers anticipate hosting nearly 500 alumni and friends for the games, as well as members of the U.S. Embassy community and partner universities such as Tsinghua University and Renmin University of China.
“I am grateful to our students on the team for representing Georgetown on and off the court and joining so many of us together here in Beijing,” DeGioia said.
Remaining game tickets will be offered to the broader Beijing community free of charge.