LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The University of Washington men’s basketball team will take part in the first ever regular-season contest by a U.S. collegiate or professional team in China, as the Dawgs will face the University of Texas on Nov. 13, 2015, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott announced today.
The non-conference game, which will be televised on ESPN live in the United States, is a major landmark event in the Pac-12’s Globalization Initiative, which is an unprecedented effort to promote the Conference and its member institutions in China through student-athlete exchanges and sport.
“We’re very excited to be a part of this trip and to represent the Pac-12,” said University of Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar. “Basketball has become one of the most popular sports in China in the last decade and we’re excited to get over there and compete. This will be a very unique educational experience for our team and we’re really looking forward to it.”
The vision for this event is to become an annual component of the Pac-12 men’s basketball season with a Pac-12 team playing against a non-conference opponent. In addition to the event, the Pac-12 and the local Chinese host will develop ancillary events to promote the game and the participating universities.
“The Pac-12 and our universities are proud to be pioneers in China,” said Commissioner Scott. “This event is a great step forward for our initiative designed to use sport and cultural exchange to support the international strategies that many of our universities have embarked on to extend their reach into China.”
“We are excited to represent the Pac-12 as its launches this innovative addition to the basketball season,” added University of Washington Director of Athletics Scott Woodward. “The event offers a unique bonding experience for the student-athletes early in the season and an excellent forum to showcase the university and connect with Washington alumni in China."
The game will tip at 11:00 a.m. local time in Shanghai, which puts it at 7 p.m. on the U.S. West Coast, and 9 p.m. in Texas. ESPN will broadcast it to a national audience.
In addition to the 2015 regular season game, Commissioner Scott announced that the Conference will send a Pac-12 All-Star Men’s Basketball Team to tour in China in August 2014. The team will travel to at least two cities in China and play two to three exhibition games against top Chinese professional teams and one game against a leading Chinese university team.
Oregon State University Head Coach Craig Robinson will be the head coach and name a roster of 12-13 Pac-12 student-athletes. As part of the tour, the student-athletes will have the opportunity to experience Chinese culture, visit historic landmarks and engage with their Chinese counterparts and FUSC in official ceremonies and off-the-court activities.
“Beyond expanding our universities’ presence in China, these tours will be transformative educational experiences for our student-athletes,” said Commissioner Scott. “Our students and coaches return to their campuses with great memories of cultural exchange and an expanded worldview.”