UW men’s basketball team goes to China

The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) invited the UW men’s basketball team to tour Chinese cities this March and participate in a series of exhibition tournaments.

The CBA organizes these tours to promote and showcase the young talent Chinese players have and to give the team experience against international competition. This is not the first time a Canadian collegiate team has been invited: past attendees include Laurentian and Ryerson.

The tour spanned two weeks, opening March 21 through three cities including Dongxiang County in Jiangxi Province with a tournament held in each. Gyms and stadiums were packed as each game had an average attendance of 4,000 fans. The team returned to Waterloo April 1.

Each tournament had four teams: Waterloo, the USA All-Star Prep School team, a Lithuanian club team, and the Chinese Jr. National team.

Waterloo’s roster consisted of players who are returning next season as well as three high school senior players — Kristian Vande Kemp, Quinn Turner, Brandon Francis Jean-Pierre — who have committed to Waterloo’s roster for next year. The tournament gave the rookies of next year’s team the opportunity to play with their future teammates.

In the three tournaments the Warriors went 1–8 overall, their only win coming against the Lithuanian club with a final score of 90–81. Many of their losses came in close contests, with the average margin between them and their opponents was only 11 points.

Leading the way for the Warriors were Matt Gilbota, Jaspreet Gill and OUA all-rookie team member, Myles Charvis. One of the three led the Warriors in scoring for each of their games.

One of the team’s more notable games came against the USA All-Star prep school team, which had a roster full of potential NCAA division one players. The Warriors only lost by 10 while Charvis and Gilbota had superb games, scoring 25 points each.

“I think we performed pretty well … considering the caliber of basketball and the fact every other team had someone that was seven feet tall, we did pretty good,” said assistant coach, Ian Morse.