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Thursday
Aug182011

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