Aug 15, 2013
Ni háo my fellow UVU faithful,
We have been in China now for over a week, a week that has been full of unforgettable experiences. My fellow friend and teammate Keawe gave us a little insight on the last post and I hope to share with you some of the experiences that stood out to me.
When we arrived here we were immediately met by humidity of China, as I write this post it feels like I'm writing in a sauna. While it is constantly hot, it does provide some benefits on the court, as we are seemingly always warmed up.
The food here has been great, if you like Chinese food for every meal. I personally have enjoyed it and like the thrill of trying new foods. My personal favorite has been the fried rice and chow mein. (Chinese food tastes much better here than in the states) The hotels we have stayed at have accommodated us very nicely. We as a team have become particularly close since we are always huddled in the lobby where the only Wi-Fi connection exists. The hotel staffs have been amazing always greeting us when we arrive and when we leave, often asking us to pose for pictures. We have truly felt like celebrities out here with people all along our journey and at our games asking for autographs and pictures. I guess we stick out here.
As for the reason we came here, to play against the best Chinese basketball, it has been nothing short of amazing. Coming here, I personally had no idea what to expect from their teams. It didn't take long for us to realize that they are among some of the best in the world. Our first 3 games here in Hangzhou, Shaoxing and Jinhua allowed us to play the same team on consecutive nights.
The first two games were highly competitive but in both we came up just a little short. The last game was one that I will never forget. We were able to get the victory in a very hard fought battle with both teams laying it out on the court. Literally every dead ball they had to call out the ball boy to mop the floor because of all the sweat. The game came down to the wire with some key plays and execution at the free throw line, but when that horn sounded I knew we had accomplished something special. It may sound not all that cool but to me it was something I will never forget beating a professional Chinese team at the highest level. It's something all of the UVU fans can be proud of.
Following the win, we had two off days of sight seeing and travel. In Jinhua, we visited a Chinese temple and were able to go in some caves. I personally enjoyed this experience due to the fact that it allowed me to take some pictures and send back home to my wife who had been on my case about pictures.
All in all, this entire trip has been one that I will never forget and we still have a week to go. Can't wait to see what else we have in store for us.
Game 4 Recap
Chouzou Bank 80, Utah Valley 73
Keawe Enos led Utah Valley with 19 points and Mitch Bruneel scored 18 points, grabbed nine rebounds and had four steals in a close loss to the Chinese Basketball Association team, Zhejian Chouzou Bank, 80-73.
The Wolverines trailed by five points with less than a minute to go but could get no closer against the Golden Bulls, the same team NBA player J.R. Smith suited up for during the 2011 NBA lockout.
UVU is now set for three games over the next three days in Shenzhen against another Chinese professional team, a pro team from Australia (Adelaide 36ers) and a team from Lithuania.