So what was China like for Georgia Tech players, coaches and staff? Their pictures might help answer the question. At the AJC’s request, they provided some of their favorite photos, taken either by them or of them, that help tell the story of the nine-day, eight-night trip to Hangzhou and Shanghai. Special thanks to Tech student Erik Maday, the team’s assistant video coordinator who took many of the pictures included.
Communications and public relations associate director Mike Stamus
Center Ben Lammers (far left of dais), coach Josh Pastner (center) and UCLA coach Steve Alford (right) with interpreter at a news conference promoting the game at Shanghai Disney Resort. Lammers tested the translator’s grasp of English and Mandarin by explaining his mechanical engineering research project. Pastner’s placard identified him as “John Pastner.” Said Pastner, “I’ve been called worse.”
A skyward view of a souvenir and antiques market in Shanghai’s Old Town.
Students from the Hangzhou International School posing in front of a display at Baoshan Arena featuring Moore. The students had been allowed to watch Tech practice at their school, and Moore interacted with them after the practice, talking, shaking hands and putting on a dunking exhibition with teammates, time that evidently made an impression. Moore is a natural people person who provided as much goodwill as any member of the team.
Posing with Sylvester Ogbonda (left) and Abdoulaye Gueye (right) on the platform at Hangzhou East Railway Station.
Assistant coach Eric Reveno
A team video review session at the Hyatt on the Bund Hotel in Shanghai.
Behind Abdoulaye Gueye posing for a team picture at Shanghai Disney Resort.
A calligrapher painting in water on the lakefront at West Lake in Hangzhou.
Moses Wright (left) and Curtis Haywood modeling their Delta-provided sleepwear on the flight from Detroit to Shanghai.
With Brandon Alston (right) and a friend at Hangzhou East Railway Station on the way to Shanghai.
With a new fan on West Lake in Hangzhou. This was on the morning of the first full day of the trip. The team walked out of the hotel en masse onto the lake front and became the focus of people wanting to take pictures with the Jackets.
Athletic trainer Richard Stewart
Strength and conditioning coach Dan Taylor on the campus of Alibaba in Hangzhou.
Strength and condtioning coach Dan Taylor leading the team through a workout at the Hangzhou International School. Taylor occasionally had to be creative in using available tools to train the team. At one gym, the team used an ab roller wheel, resistance bands, a staircase and a towel for a multi-station workout.
Assistant coach Tavaras Hardy
With Alibaba co-founder Joe Tsai at the campus of the e-commerce giant in Hangzhou. Tsai’s one-hour presentation on the story and incredible growth of the company was a highlight. Tsai, who recently purchased 49 percent of the Nets, is evidently a big basketball fan. Tsai’s alma mater, Yale, will play in next year’s Pac-12 China game against Cal.
On the lakefront of West Lake in Hangzhou.
Recruiting and compliance director Julian Swartz
A collage of photos: Clockwise from upper right, a photo of Siberia taken during the Detroit-Shanghai flight; West Lake in Hangzhou at sunrise; the Shanghai skyline.
Swartz with Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse at Shanghai Disney Resort.
The team, staff and cheerleaders on the visit to Shanghai Disney Resort.
With Ben Lammers (left) in a study hall at the team hotel in Hangzhou. Players tried to manage being away from class for six school days by getting ahead and then filing homework during the trip.
Marketing and digital media assistant director Phil Lewicki
An impromptu team picture on the shores of West Lake in Hangzhou on the first full day of the trip.
A somewhat more formal team picture with Alibaba co-founder Joe Tsai (holding jersey) at the campus of the e-commmerce giant in Hangzhou. This was just after Tsai had asked of center Ben Lammers, “You attack the rim, right?”
Hall of famer Bill Walton and his ESPN partner Roxy Bernstein posing with gifts presented to them on the day of the Tech-UCLA game.
Tipoff of the game at Baoshan Arena in Shanghai. The arena filled in somewhat after the tip, drawing a little more than 4,000.
On the lakefront of West Lake in Hangzhou. We can report that Jester, who prior to the trip was given the advice “Don’t venture off,” safely returned to campus Sunday evening.
Assistant coach Darryl LaBarrie
With wife Aisha at Baoshan Arena in Shanghai. LaBarrie is modeling a new tailored suit purchased on the trip.
The Tech traveling party at security in Hangzhou East Railway Station.
A hummingbird topiary garden in what looks like Shanghai.
With hall of famer Bill Walton at the campus of e-commerce giant Alibaba in Hangzhou. Meeting (and getting photographed) with the gregarious Walton was a highlight for several players and staff.
Associate athletic director Marvin Lewis
Tech staff (team doctor Amadeus Mason in blue sweatshirt, program and operations manager Ellie Cantkier in yellow shirt, academic adviser Whitney Burton in gray jacket and Lewis on far right) with sellers at the A.P. Plaza (or A.P. Market), a vast market of counterfeit goods in Shanghai. Some of Tech’s staff made so many repeated (and prodigious) visits to the market that sellers (including these pictured) began to recognize them and made arrangements to meet them and help them find items.
With academic adviser Whitney Burton at Disneyland, posing on models for the Tron roller-coaster ride.
Justin Moore enjoying first-class comforts on the Boeing 777 from Detroit to Shanghai. For most, if not all Tech players, it was their first experience flying in such luxury.
With hall of famer Bill Walton at the Alibaba campus in Hangzhou. Alston, a graduate transfer guard from Lehigh, started in his first game with the Jackets.
Program and operations manager Ellie Cantkier
One of the souvenir basketballs that Tech coaches and staff signed and presented as gifts, including to the schools where the Jackets practiced during the trip. Cantkier was heavily involved in the planning and execution of the trip.
The dramatic Shanghai skyline, photographed on a cruise of the Huangpu River. The purple building in the background is the Oriental Pearl Tower, which transmits TV and radio signals and has several observation decks. Many buildings in Shanghai are illuminated by LED lightning such as the one on the right.
The Shanghai skyline at dawn. The tallest structure in the photo is the Shanghai Tower, which, at 2,073 feet, is the second tallest building in the world.
Ancient stone carvings at the Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou. The carvings are hundreds of years old and are carved into Mount Lingyin. The temple was built in 328 AD.
With Abdoulaye Gueye (left) at Hangzhou East Railway Station on the way to Shanghai.
At Shanghai Disney Resort. Lammers said the visit to Disney was one of his favorite parts of the trip. That’s forward Avi Schafer in the lower lefthand corner.
Strength and conditioning coach Dan Taylor
An artistic documentation of the Shanghai skyline. (Taylor is a worthwhile follow for Tech fans on Twitter and Instagram.) Maybe no one enjoyed the trip as much as Taylor, an extrovert who can make friends anywhere. Taylor even commented that, at a younger stage in life, he could envision moving to Shanghai.
Taylor with tour guide Yu Xue Feng, aka “Snow,” on departure day at Shanghai. A prediction: In 10 years, one aspect of the trip that everyone who was on it will remember is the singing tour guide.