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By: Tony Harman
Xavier Johnson is one of 13 student-athletes traveling to China this August.
Johnson Headed To China With Pac-12 Conference Team
Release: May 23, 2014
By: Andrew Green, Assistant SID
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WALNUT CREEK, Calif. – The Pac-12 Conference will send 13 men’s basketball student-athletes on a four-game all-star tour of China this summer as part of its Globalization Initiative, the Conference announced Friday.

The aim of the initiative is to help support Pac-12 member universities’ international outreach efforts, build their brands in an important market, and provide quality educational and cultural exchange experiences for student-athletes.

Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak will guide a roster of players representing 10 of the Conference’s 12 members.

“It’s an honor to have the chance to represent the University of Utah and the Pac-12 in China this summer,” said Krystkowiak. “This is a great educational experience for everyone involved and I can’t wait to work with this select group of outstanding student-athletes.”

Colorado forward Xavier Johnson (12.0 ppg/5.9 rpg) joins Utah forward Jordan Loveridge (14.7 ppg/7.0 rpg), Washington guard Andrew Andrews (12.3 ppg/3.9 rpg), and Washington State guard DaVonté Lacy (19.4 ppg/4.2 rpg) highlight a squad that will face a Chinese university all-star team.  

Johnson, a double major in ethnic studies and communication led the Buffaloes (23-11 record) in scoring five times this past season, also tied for the first on the team in 3-pointers (37) and was third overall in scoring (12.0) and rebounding (5.9).

The Pac-12 will play three games against teams from the Chinese Basketball Association, including the Shanghai Sharks. Eight-time NBA All-Star Yao Ming owns the Sharks. Max Zhang, a former Cal Bear student-athlete has been the center for the Sharks since his return to China in 2010.

The Pac-12 all-star team will also play the Guangdong Southern Tigers, the 2013-14 Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) regular season champion. The Tigers' leading Chinese scorer is Yi Jianlian, who played for the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks under Krystkowiak during the 2007-08 season before returning to the CBA in 2012. 

The Pac-12 intended on having all 12 member universities represented on the team. However, the academic schedules of student-athletes from Oregon and UCLA conflicted with the tour dates.

In addition to the competition in China, the team will participate in various youth clinics, as well as take in the culture and history of China with visits to various landmarks and historical sites in the cities of Shanghai, Nantong and Shenzhen.

The Pac-12 is working with HUPU Sports Media Co. in arranging and promoting the tour, competitions and cultural activities. The Pac-12 is also continuing its partnership with Federation of University of Sports (FUSC), China’s equivalent of NCAA in organizing the 3rd China-U.S. University Sports Week, an annual collaborative event between the Pac-12 and the FUSC that will feature a friendly game between the Pac-12 All-star Team and a Chinese University All-star Team and coaching clinics.

In addition, the United States Consulate in Shanghai has agreed to support the tour and will have senior members of the Consulate participate a welcome reception for the Pac-12 delegation, a tour press conference and various activities of the tour in Shanghai and Nantong.

To support the Pac-12 Conference’s on-going effort to build awareness of its’ member universities and the Conference in China, the Pac-12 is working with its Chinese partners to organize an academic symposium in conjunction with the Pac-12 men’s basketball all-star tour in August. The symposium will include a high-profile U.S.-China university leaders’ forum and business meetings between the Pac-12 university delegates and senior dignitaries from the Chinese government and universities. Six of the Conference's member institutions will send a senior member to join this symposium.

Over the past two summers as part of the Conference’s Globalization Initiative, the league has sent an all-star women’s volleyball team, men’s basketball teams from Arizona State and UCLA and women’s basketball team from California to China.

The 10-day tour will commence August 10 and will be the first men’s basketball all-star tour for the Pac-12 since the Conference sent both a men’s and women’s all-star team to Japan in 1996.

2014 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball China Tour Roster
Name (School)                                   Pos.    Ht           Wt          Yr.          Hometown
Andrew Andrews (Washington)          G          6-2          195         So.          Portland, Ore.
Bo Barnes (Arizona State)                  G/F      6-4          195         Jr.            Scottsdale, Ariz.
Malcolm Duvivier (Oregon State)        G         6-2          205         Fr.           Toronto, Canada
Jacob Hazzard (Arizona)                     G         6-0          160         So.          Los Angeles, Calif.
Xavier Johnson (Colorado)                  F         6-7          220         So.          Los Angeles, Calif.
Nikola Jovanovic (USC)                       F         6-10        215         Fr.           Belgrade, Serbia
DaVonté Lacy (Washington State)      G         6-4          215         Jr.           Tacoma, Wash.
Jordan Loveridge (Utah)                      F         6-6          210         So.          West Jordan, Utah
Roger Moute a Bidias (California)        F         6-7          200         Jr.          Yaounde, Cameroon
Cheikh N’diaye (Oregon State)           C         7-0          230         Fr.           Dakar, Senegal
Jeremy Olsen (Utah)                           C         6-10        232         Jr.           Lawrenceville, Ga.
Schuyler Rimmer (Stanford)               C          6-10        255         Fr.          Orlando, Fla.
Brandon Taylor (Utah)                        G         5-10        165         So.          Los Angeles, Calif.

Tentative Tour Itinerary
Aug. 7-9 Pre-tour practice at San Francisco site to be determined
Aug. 10  Depart for Shanghai, China
Aug. 11  Arrive Shanghai, China
Aug. 13  Game 1 vs. Chinese University All-Stars (Shanghai)
Aug. 14  Game 2 vs. Jiangsu Dragons or Shanghai Sharks (Nantong)
Aug. 15  Pac-12 Academic Symposium
Aug. 16  Game 3 vs. Shanghai Sharks (Shanghai)
Aug. 17  Youth clinic at the Yi Jianlian Basketball Camp
Aug. 18  Game 4 vs. Guangdong Southern Tigers (Shenzhen)
Aug. 19 or 20        Depart for United States

 

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