The 2018 Pro Skills Basketball China Tour is officially in the books!
For three weeks we will publish recaps with stories and pictures from all three stops: Shanghai (part 1), Chengdu (part 2), and Beijing (part 3). Then we’ll cap it all off with a documentary of the entire trip to China!
This week, part 1, details all the dumplings, dunks, and deals Shanghai had to offer … Enjoy!
DAY 1 – Shanghai Arrival, The Bund
After months of planning, a 7am flight from Charlotte, and a quick connection in Newark, the PSB China Basketball & Cultural Tour was off and running to Shanghai!
Once on the ground, we boarded our bus and met Yuki, our local guide. As we drove through sprawling forests of apartment complexes towards our hotel in downtown, Yuki pointed out landmarks while offering her unique perspective on the city.
From the first night, we set out to give our players and their parents an authentic Chinese experience.
We rode the metro to People’s Park, strolled with locals along the famous shopping district surrounding Nanjing road, and ate traditional Shanghainese fare. The restaurant was famous for its pork dumplings, but at the recommendation of the owner, our group also sampled shrimp and cuttlefish varieties, to rave reviews.
With full stomachs, we were re-energized and ready to explore more of the city. The streets were packed with summer tourists from all over China, but we were able to make our way through the crowds down to our main attraction, the Bund and a better view of Shanghai’s futuristic Pudong skyline.
Despite the bright lights, it seemed that anywhere our group went, the players were the stars of the show.
We took an almost endless amount of photos until jet lag began to kick in and decided to return to the hotel for some well-deserved rest.
DAY 2 PSB China Tour – Shanghai Rucker Park Game v Chinese Streetball Team “X-Battle”
Day two got off to a quick start with breakfast at the hotel and a metro ride to one of Shanghai’s biggest clothing markets.
The guys enjoyed bargaining with the shopkeepers (negotiating the price is expected and considered a must-do when buying almost anything in China) and came away with some awesome deals for themselves and loved ones back at home.
Our second day in Shanghai was also the first game day of the tour. At 7 pm we tipped off against the X-Battle streetball team at Rucker Park (inspired by the park of the same name in New York City).
The game was tight throughout, but a pair of late three-pointers and a thunderous transition dunk from Raekwon Long sealed the 54-49 PSB win.
After the game, we sat down for our first family-style Chinese meal. It was late when we arrived, but the owner went out of his way to welcome us to his establishment.
All of our guys loved the food and decided to say thank you by taking a picture with him and his family. [see below]
DAY 3 PSB China Tour – Shanghai Yu Garden
Yu Garden was the cultural highlight of our Shanghai experience. Yuki led us around the expansive compound which once served as a private residence, dropping bits of historical knowledge along the way.
The garden is one of the oldest and best-preserved heritage sites in the city. It is also a great example of the ever-present juxtaposition of the ancient and the modern that defines Shanghai.
Despite the heat, everyone in our group enjoyed the games and the interaction with the local basketball scene.
With an early flight to Chengdu the following morning, we cleaned up at the hotel, had another group meal, and called it a night.
Thanks for taking the time to read about stop number one on the 2018 PSB China Basketball & Cultural Tour.
Keep an eye out for a recap of stop number two, Chengdu, coming soon!
Also, make sure to listen to the PSB Podcast “Pick & Pop” episode on Basketball in China featuring Karl Barkley and hear what it is like to live in China as a PSB coach.