The 2018 International Basketball Challenge and Culture Week will open at Suzhou Sports Center on the evening of July 17. Some basketball players of the “96 golden generation” will attend the opening ceremony. Mengke Bateer, Hu Weidong and some other basketball stars will also be present. The opening ceremony will be followed by a match between the China Olympic Men’s Basketball Team and German National Men’s Basketball Team.
It will be the 4th time that the International Basketball Challenge has been held in Suzhou since its launching in 2015. It will last from July 17 to 22 at Suzhou Sports Center and Suzhou Dushu Lake Sports Center, which will be attended by the China Olympic Men’s Basketball Team, the Sydney Kings of Australia and other 6 teams from Iran, Germany, Nigeria, Czech, Poland and the United States.
An international basketball culture week will be held on the sidelines of the tournament. It will feature 10 themed activities including an event themed “Learning from and surpassing the ‘96 golden generation’”. The Chinese men’s basketball team, coached by Gong Luming, made history at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics by advancing to the quarterfinals and the team members have been called the “96 golden generation” of Chinese basketball, including Li Xiaoyong, Zheng Wu, Wang Zhizhi, Sun Jun, Hu Weidong, Wu Qinglong, Wu Naiqun, Liu Yudong, Gong Xiaobin, Shan Tao, Li Nan and Bateer.
This year’s “Learning from and surpassing the ‘96 golden generation’” activity will be held during the halftime break of the match between China and Germany following the opening ceremony. It will be attended by former head coach Gong Luming and some basketballers playing at the 1996 Olympic Games including Li Xiaoyong, Zheng Wu, Sun Jun, Hu Weidong, Wu Qinglong, Gong Xiaobin, Shan Tao and Bateer. Former coaches Jiang Xingquan and Chen Dechun and famous players like Adiljan, Ji Minshang, Wang Libin, Song Tao and Hu Xuefeng will also take part in the activity to be hosted by the senior sports commentator Xu Jicheng. Famous basketball players Liu Yudong, Wang Zhizhi, Wu Naiqun and Zhang Jingsong may come to Suzhou, too.
During the culture week, a basketball carnival will also be held in the stadium of Suzhou Sports Center and an international basketball training camp in its Fengyuan basketball park. On the morning of July 20, some of the participating teams will visit local schools and communities to exchange skills with basketball fans there and some will play friendlies with teams of Suzhou amateur basketball league. Other activities will include Suzhou Basketball Contest for Middle School Students, the training class of CBA referees and the training class of youth basketball coaches.
Tickets for the tournament are on sale and the prices range from 20 yuan to 100 yuan. Basketball fans can book tickets online at www.damai.cn or visit the ticket offices at Suzhou Sports Center and Suzhou Dushu Lake Sports Center and the Damai Retail Outlet in Suzhou.
The Harlem Globetrotters from the US are invited to give an amazing fancy basketball performance at the opening ceremony.