Entries in Brawl (2)


Basketball Brawl Makes Georgetown Hoyas a Hot Ticket in China

YangShiZhonh-China Daily/AFP/Getty Images(SHANGHAI, China) -- Georgetown basketball was the hottest ticket in Shanghai Sunday, but nobody was anticipating it more than Hoyas head coach John Thompson III.

"It would be misleading if didn't say that the last couple of days have been trying and stressful," Thompson told ABC News.  "But for me as coach and for the players it's good to get back on the court."

The game in Shanghai was the Hoyas' first since their now infamous brawl in Beijing with the Chinese army team, the Bayi Rockets.

The Georgetown team is on a two-week goodwill tour of China.  However, the recent full court melee that occurred on the Olympic Sportscenter Stadium hardwood even overshadowed Vice President Joe Biden's diplomatic overtures to lunch at a local Beijing fried liver restaurant.

Images of the fight spread so quickly through social media, people treated the fight like an international incident.  The Chinese propaganda department even reportedly issued directives to local media outlets against mentioning it in news reports.

The two teams themselves, however, have made up.

"We both felt that for our team and their team that it was important that we got in a room and sit down and acknowledge it's time to move on," said Thompson, speaking exclusively with ABC News.  "At the end of the day it was a competition that turned into a conflict.  You can use that to grow and learn."

Even after most of the team had left Beijing for Shanghai Friday, Thompson and two of his players met privately with the Bayi coach and two of his players to reconcile.  The two teams exchanged autographed basketballs.

But there was no doubt that the incident had clearly drummed up interest in Sunday's exhibition game at a Shanghai sporting event aiming to promote sports to Chinese youths.  After all, it was billed to be a Bayi-Georgetown rematch.

Half an hour before game time, the venue was already packed. James Burbridge, an American expat living in Shanghai, was looking for a way into the game.

"I wanted to watch the Bayi team play Georgetown again," Brubridge told ABC News.  "I'd figure it would be a scrappy game."

But due to a scheduling change, which had nothing to do with the fight, fans had to settle for another professional Chinese team -- the Liaoning Dinosaurs.

The Hoyas ended up trouncing the Dinosaurs 92-68 in a match that was, perhaps not surprisingly, without incident.

Gene Wang, sportswriter for the Washington Post, who was the only reporter on scene for the Bayi-Hoyas fight in Beijing, noticed something immediately at the Shanghai event.

"The officials definitely had control of this game from the start," Wang said.  "You could tell they weren't going to let it get anywhere near out of control."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Georgetown Basketball Team Brawls in China

Patrik Giardino/Blend Images(BEIJING) -- At the same time that Vice President Biden is in China to work on relations with that country, another American institution, the Georgetown men’s basketball team wasn’t helping the cause.

An exhibition game between Georgetown and the Chinese professional team 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," according to the Washington Post’s Gene Wang.

Georgetown Coach John Thompson III pulled his players off the court with less than ten minutes left in the game and the scored tied at 64.

The team is on a 10 day trip, according to the university.  Team members were briefed by state department officials in advance about what to expect in Beijing and Shanghai and about the status of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and China. Before the trip, head coach John Thompson III commented on the goals.

“There are as many people playing basketball in China as there are in the United States, and that's an amazing statistic,” Thompson said. “From an institutional standpoint, we're getting a chance to represent Georgetown and increase our reputation in China. President John J. DeGioia has focused on reaching out to other countries as a global institution, and this trip is part of that work.”

After the game, Thompson had to make a different kind of statement.

“Tonight two great team played a very competitive game that unfortunately ended after heated exchanges with both teams,” Thompson said in a statement. “We sincerely regret that this situation occurred.”

A Twitter account set up to follow the Hoyas’ trip to China noted during the game that ended in fighting that “Coach is getting animated -- Hoyas all about grabbing the W,” and that he threw a towel.

Vice President Biden attended a Georgetown basketball exhibition match with a different Chinese team the night before.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio