Wednesday, July 20, 2016

GW Men's Basketball Announces Schedule for Foreign Tour of Japan

From our friends at GW Athletics...

Colonials Will Play Four Games While Touring the Nation

The GW men’s basketball team on Monday revealed plans for its foreign trip to Japan next month.

GW is set to depart on August 10 and return August 22, and will play four games in four cities while student-athletes will also participate in a sport globalization course from the 12th to the 17th.

The trip marks a homecoming for junior Yuta Watanabe, a native of Kagawa, Japan, who earlier this month played for the National Team - dubbed the Akatsuki Five - in an Olympic qualifying tournament in Serbia.

“I'm looking forward to going and introducing Japan to my team,” said Watanabe. “Japan is a great country and I know they are going to love it there. I really appreciate the people who planned this opportunity. It is going to be a fun trip and I can't wait to play a basketball game in front of Japanese fans.”

今回チームのみんなと日本に行き、日本をみんなに紹介できるのをとても楽しみです。 日本は素晴らしい国ですし、みんな気に入ってくれるだろうと思っています。 今回この日本遠征を企画してくれた方々にとても感謝してます。 とても楽しい日本遠征になるだろうと思いますし、また日本のファンの皆さんの前でプレーをできる事がとても楽しみです。”

“We’re very excited about our trip to Japan,” said head coach Mike Lonergan. “It will be a great homecoming for Yuta and give his family and friends an opportunity to see how he’s developed as a player over the last two years. Not only will it be a good experience for our student-athletes from a basketball standpoint, it will be an educational experience as well. Our guys are going to take a course, which will teach them about Japanese culture and be of great benefit. I also think this trip will help us build our team chemistry since we have such a young group this year. They will get a chance to bond on and off the court as they represent GW during our travels.”

The trip is being sponsored by the Japanese Basketball Association, the governing body of basketball in Japan which is responsible for the National Team.

"We're very thankful for the generous support of the Japanese Basketball Association in making this trip possible," said director of athletics Patrick Nero. "This will be a once-in-a-lifetime cultural experience for our student-athletes, coaches and staff, and a tremendous opportunity for Yuta to play in front of Japanese fans while introducing his teammates to the country."

After departing on the 10th, the GW contingent will arrive in Osaka on the afternoon of the 11th and be treated to a welcome dinner that evening. The group will enjoy a mix of sightseeing, local cuisine, classes for the student-athletes, and games, over the next 10 days. Following three nights in Osaka, GW will head to Tokyo on the 14th, Hamamatsu on the 18th and Okinawa on the 20th, before returning home on the 22nd.

On the court, GW will play the Japanese National Team three times along with one game vs. the Ryukyu Golden Kings of the Basketball Japan (BJ) League. The three-game series with the Akatsuki Five will commence on August 13 in Osaka, followed by a meeting on the 16th in Tokyo, with the final game slated for the 19th in Hamamatsu. GW ends its trip in Okinawa, where it will face the Golden Kings on the 21st.

The aim of the class that student-athletes will participate in is to explore the globalization of sport through the prism of Japan. During the trip, students will experience sport in Japan by attending sporting events, visiting iconic sports venues and meeting with officials and executives of leading sports companies. Professor of Management and Tourism Studies Mark Hyman will accompany the team and lead the class, which will also meet three times prior to departure.

There will be a number of ways to follow GW as it travels through Japan. Updates will be posted to Twitter (@GW_MBB) Instagram (GW_MBB) Snapchat (GW_George) and Facebook (GW Men’s Basketball.) Additionally, student-athletes will provide insight on their experience through’s blog, 22nd & G.

Game Schedule:
Saturday, August 13 vs. Japanese National Team
Venue: Fuminkyosai Super Arena (Osaka)
Tipoff: 4:00 PM local, 7:00 AM ET

Tuesday, August 16 vs. Japanese National Team
Venue: Ryogoku Kokugikan (Tokyo)
Tipoff: 7:00 PM local, 10:00 AM ET

Friday, August 19 vs. Japanese National Team
Venue: Hamamatsu Arena (Hamamatsu)
Tipoff: 6:00 PM local, 9:00 AM ET

Sunday, August 21 vs. Ryukyu Golden Kings
Venue: Okinawa City Gymnasium (Okinawa)
Tipoff: 4:00 PM local, 7:00 AM ET