Duke University will circle the globe in August 2011, with games scheduled in China and Dubai, Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White announced Friday.
The highly visible college basketball team will tip off August 17 in Kunshan, China, a suburb of Shanghai and the location of a new Duke-affiliated campus expected to open in 2012. On August 19 the team will play in Shanghai ’s Mercedes-Benz Arena, former home of the Shanghai World Expo Culture Center.
On August 22, the team will play its third game in China, in Beijing ’s MasterCard Center, (wow Chinese Arenas have even worse/soullessly corporate names than the Big East, go here for more on that) where Duke Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski led Team USA to a gold medal during the 2008 Olympics.
On August 26 the team will end its tour with a game in Dubai, one of the cities in which Duke’s Fuqua School of Business has established a significant presence.
“While the entire schedule is not yet finalized,” White continued, “we are in the process of securing games against formidable competition at each respective location. Mike Cragg, senior associate director of athletics, has been our leader relative to this terribly exciting endeavor. To be sure, he has been both entrepreneurial and tireless in facilitating this exhilarating venture.”
The trip was originally conceived by Fuqua School of Business Dean Blair Sheppard and Greg Jones, Duke’s vice president and vice provost for global strategy and programs, to showcase not only Duke basketball, but also the university’s pioneering business education, health, arts, civic engagement and policy-oriented programs around the world.
The visit to Kunshan will highlight Duke’s partnership with the local government to build a new university that will include programs in business, global health and other disciplines. Construction of the 200 acre facility is currently under way.
The team will conduct youth basketball clinics in China and the United Arab Emirates. It will also visit historic Chinese gardens, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall of China. In the United Arab Emirates , the team will learn about traditional Emirati culture and commerce as well as about Dubai ’s rise as a modern business center.
At the game in Kunshan, students from Duke’s Cross Continent MBA class of 2012 will have the opportunity to stand in for the Cameron Crazies – the enthusiastic, face-painted Duke students who cheer in Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke’s home court.
“We are excited about the opportunity for our team to compete internationally and be exposed to so many significant historical and cultural landmarks,” said Krzyzewski. “From my experience in China with the United States Olympic Team in 2008, I know that this is a nation that absolutely loves basketball. I am thrilled that our players will have the chance to experience a country so rich in tradition first-hand. It should be a trip they remember for the rest of their lives.”
The Duke men’s basketball program broke new international ground just weeks ago with a broadcast in Mandarin Chinese of its Jan. 15 home game versus the University of Virginia. Produced by Duke students, the online radio program marked the first time an ACC basketball game was broadcast in Mandarin.
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