The Washington Huskies men’s basketball team boarded a direct flight Sunday morning from Seattle to Shanghai, beginning a week of activities in China ahead of their Nov. 13 regular season opener against the Texas Longhorns at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
The game itself is noteworthy, because it will be the first regular-season, United States sporting event held in China, college or pro. But the trip is also unique because of the Pac-12’s partnership with the Alibaba Group, the world’s largest online and mobile commerce company. UW’s travel party -- which includes the basketball team and staff, as well as UW president Ana Marie Cauce and other high-level administrators -- will visit the Alibaba headquarters in Hangzhou on Tuesday, and will attend an educational seminar on the Alibaba campus.
From the Pac-12 release: “The seminar will seek to educate the student-athletes on strategic societal, cultural, and business trends taking place across China, including in the important areas of e-commerce and mobile technology. Specific modules of the seminar will focus on the history of China and the Chinese economy, the economic trends of the youth in China, and a behind-the-scenes look at China’s 11.11 shopping phenomenon.”
And: “After the trip to Hangzhou, the student-athletes and university delegations will return to Shanghai to participate in a series of cultural activities, including visits to city landmarks and a cruise on the Hungpu River to admire the world-famous ‘Bund.’”
We’ll have a bigger story about the Huskies’ China trip in Friday’s newspaper. The game will air live on ESPN at 7 p.m. PT Friday.
The Pac-12 will also send a team to play a regular-season game in China next season. That game’s participants should be announced later this week, according to the Pac-12.
Also, one quick UW note: the Huskies’ Nov. 21 game against Pennsylvania at Hec Edmundson Pavilion will tipoff at 12 p.m. and air on the Pac-12 Networks.
A few links.
--- Chris Petersen didn’t seem to have much of an issue with the penalty calls that wiped out a pair of Huskies touchdowns in Saturday’s loss to Utah.
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple