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Creating relationships in China

The Hawaii men’s basketball team is in China now, and what it does on this tour could have ramifications for years to come.

Imagine the next young Chinese basketball star signing to play for the Warriors. Or a pipeline created for UH basketball players to sign with professional teams in the China Basketball Association after finishing their collegiate careers.

“We’d love to create that kind of relationship with China,” Hawaii head coach Gib Arnold said. “When the next Yao Ming is looking for a place to play college ball in America, we want the Univeristy of Hawaii to be the first place he thinks of. And getting our name out on a trip like this can only help towards that goal.”

At a recent exhibition game in Gao Mi, China, the Chinese fans provided a warm reception for the Warriors, and several dignitaries from the city attended the game.

At halftime of the game between Hawaii and the Qingdao Eagles, the head official from the sports federation for the city of Gao Mi presented the Hawaii basketball program with a basket of artwork and art supplies as a token of appreciation. In return, the Warriors gave the Gao Mi city officials bags filled with macadamia nuts, Hawaiian coffee, and Hawaiian calendars.

Gao Zhong Jie, the director of the sports federation for the city of Gao Mi, noted that Hawaii would always be remembered as the first basketball team from America to visit that area of China.

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