Beating the boys in China

October 05, 2006, volume 37, no. 3
By Scott McLean



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The Simon Fraser University women's basketball team recently returned from two weeks in Beijing where they participated in SFU's first formal, international athletic exchange.

Renmin University hosted the exchange. The team played six games, ran practices and clinics with local athletes and coaches, and learned about China's culture and history.

To maximize their experience, they also pursued a field study course on international issues developed by SFU's faculty of education.

The women's basketball team was chosen for the exchange because of both their athletic and academic record. The team has been to five consecutive Canadian Interuniversity Sport national championships, winning in 2002 and 2005, and has the highest collective grade point average of any SFU varsity team.

During their visit, the Clan finished with a 5-1 record on the court, despite blistering temperatures of 40 degrees celsius. The highlight of the trip, however, was an impromptu pickup game against a group of Chinese male students that drew approximately 200 onlookers.

With the game tied, second-year guard Lisa Tindle pulled a loose ball away from an opposition player and found first-year guard Robyn Buna with a pass. Buna then connected on a game-winning three-pointer as the crowd cheered.

"The game attracted quite the crowd with many people cheering and chanting as the girls surprised the boys and won," says SFU guard Laura van den Boogaard.

"I thought it was great that we came out of a basement gym after playing one of the best teams in the city, to make a statement in front of hundreds, winning a boys' game on the street."

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