This summer the members of the men’s basketball team will add their numbers to the mass of Georgetown students travelling abroad when they spend two weeks in China, participating in “a range of athletic, educational and cultural activities,” according to a university press release.

The trip, which will take place August 13-27, will take the Hoyas from Beijing to Shanghai as the university seeks to increase Georgetown’s international profile and appeal while making a lasting impression on alumni and prospective students alike.

“Our outreach with China is designed to promote dialogue and understanding across cultures,” University President John J. DeGioia said in a press release. “This is the first time one of our athletic teams has traveled to China, and the trip will bring the team’s excitement to a nation of avid fans with a rich history and tradition.”

The roots of this trip lie perhaps as far back as three-plus decades ago in 1978 when the Chinese national team came to the United States for the first time and played its first game against the Hoyas at the D.C. Armory.

For his part, Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III is excited about the rare opportunity that his players will have in August. He is proud that his squad has been chosen to represent the university overseas.

“We are very excited … to use the vehicle of our sport to help build relationships in an international setting,” Thompson said in a press release. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our team and … we are honored to have the opportunity to represent Georgetown University.”

Other members of the Georgetown community will accompany the basketball team. They will be aiming to help the university broaden its regional footprint past the 1,800-odd alumni residing in China and southeast Asia.

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