Yale hoopsters are shooting "stars" in China

The Yale Men’s Basketball team is visiting China May 16-25. During their trip, they are visiting cultural sites in their host cities (Chengdu and Shanghai) and playing four exhibition games against Chinese universities.

From packed stadiums to giant pandas, the 12 members of the team and the coaching staff have had an action-packed trip. One recent article from a local Chengdu paper even referred to them as mini-NBA stars.

Writing about their first game, a 96-53 victory over Southwest Petroleum University, rising sophomore Isaiah Salafia said in the team’s blog:

“We showed up and could immediately tell things were a little different from back home. The locals lingered around watching our every move, and even the littlest dunk in warm ups made them go crazy, yelling and clapping from the balconies above. …

But what was the most impressive and surprising was the aftermath of the game. The instant it was over, the locals amassed rapidly on the court. We shook hands with the opposing team and, without delay, our temporary lives of stardom began. Turn one way and you’d have four or five people pushing pen and paper in your direction asking for autographs. On the other side, there were 10 people bustling and shoving asking for pictures. I know that I personally had to take several pictures with a puppy, [rising junior Michael] Grace was manipulated into performing dribbling drills, and all of us will more than likely have a plethora of new pen pals resulting from the distribution of our email addresses.”

Click here to read more of the team’s exploits — both on and off the court.

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