Former Georgetown stars Patrick Ewing and Alonzo Mourning both used the word “unfortunate” to describe the brawl between the Hoyas and a Chinese military team last week in Beijing. During a conference call Tuesday to promote their Sept. 1-4 trip to South Africa for the Basketball without Borders community outreach program, Ewing and Mourning said they both hoped that the university, basketball program and players could put the incident behind them.
“This is an opportunity for the university to get some global exposure and this is not the image that you want to portray,” Mourning said. “I don’t know all facts and how everything went down, you just hate to see things like that. Hopefully, the thought of it can diminish sooner than later. It’s just not what the university is about.”
Georgetown’s ugly bench-clearing skirmish with the Bayi Rockets featured punches, chairs and water bottles tossed and forced the exhibition to end with the score tied 64-64. Georgetown Coach John Thompson III, Jason Clark and Hollis Thompson met with Bayi Coach Adejiang and two players, Chen Yu and Lehei De, the next day to smooth over the situation.
Mourning, a seven-time NBA all-star and now vice-president of player pPrograms and development for the Miami Heat, is also a member of the Georgetown board of trustees, along with Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis and former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue. “I know that one of the things that our president Jack DeGioia is trying to do, he’s trying to expand the Georgetown brand globally,” Mourning said. “So I feel like, and I speak for all of our board members and all of our representatives of the university, and that’s not Georgetown and that’s not the image that we portray.”
Ewing led the Hoyas to three NCAA Final Fours before having an NBA Hall of Fame career and is now an assistant coach with the Orlando Magic. “It was something that happened and you try to move past it,” he said. “I think, not only the university, the players, but also the country of China and players in China have moved on the from that. They are having a great time over there and trying to end it up in a positive way.”
Georgetown concluded its tour of China on Tuesday by defeating Chinese Taipei, 83-64, at Jing’An Gymnasium in Shanghai.
More coverage of the brawl:
Former Hoyas react
Photos: Hoyas brawl in Beijing
DC Sports Bog: Chinese media ignore Georgetown story