The Cal Women's Basketball team has been in China for two days now, getting ready for their summer tour. Apparently this is part of an NCAA outreach program to take American college sports abroad. The benefits for Cal are obvious. First, they got to practice during most of August and they get to play several Chinese professional teams over the next 10 days. This gives the team a lot more practice and game experience than most other schools, and gives the new players, especially the freshman, a chance to get their feet wet well before the season starts. Second, it is a tremendous experience for the players to visit China, and to bond together as a team. I imagine it costs the Athletic Department a fair amount of money, but the potential benefits for the team and the players seem huge.
And the benefit for Cal fans? Well, as usual, Coach G and Company have been tweeting up a storm, sending back photos of our girls at the Great Wall of China, among other locales. So enjoy!
The team reaches the Great Wall
Coaches Kai Felton and Charmin Smith at the Great Wall
Mikayla Lyles, Avigiel Cohen, and Afure Jemerigbe
I can't believe I was just on the Great Wall of China. Basketball has the power to do amazing things for all of us. pic.twitter.com/XbLZ8q4V6t— Lindsay Gottlieb (@CalCoachG) August 19, 2013
Then dinner: Apparently only Mikayla Lyles and Avigiel Cohen decided to try the snake.
Followed by some shopping
So, that's the report on the Bears' first full day in China. I'm sure our intrepid tweeters will keep on sending the photos. You can follow them on Twitter at #BearsInChina.