Georgetown players recently appeared in promotional videos learning to use chopsticks and asking in Chinese, "Where is the basketball court?"
In advance of an August tour of China that should give the team a head start on its season and also provide a path to cultural discovery, the Hoyas want it to be known that going to Beijing and Shanghai for exhibition games is a tremendous opportunity for their players to learn on multiple fronts.
"Our team is going to have a new core," coach John Thompson III said in a statement. "It's going to have a new group of guys that's going to be asked to produce. Getting the opportunity to go and have them start to mesh and to jell and to learn each other and to learn what's going to be expected of them is something that is important for this summer. But just as important if not more important is just the opportunity to go to Asia, to go to China."
In a trip that has been cited by the U.S. State Department as part of sports diplomacy, the team will meet with Chinese officials and participate in a basketball clinic besides getting an chance to prepare for the season.
For the school, it's a chance to promote itself abroad and strengthen its relationship with China, which has a history with Georgetown basketball as well.
In 1978, China sent its first national basketball team to the United States to play a series of games, the first of which was played against Georgetown at the D.C. Armory.
Of course, the Georgetown coach then was John Thompson, the father of the current coach.
"What we're hopeful for is on this trip, our current students will have an opportunity to experience the global quality and the global character in our world today in a way many of our alums have experienced," Georgetown president John J. DeGioia said in a statement.