GW Men’s Basketball Announces Tour of Japan

Colonials will play four games and study the globalization of sports while touring the country.

Basketball players in practice dribbling balls
Members of the GW men's basketball team practice in July. (GW Today/ Logan Werlinger)
August 04, 2016

The George Washington University men’s basketball team will play four games in four Japanese cities this month while participating in a sport globalization course.


The team is set to depart Aug. 10 and return Aug. 22. The trip is being sponsored by the Japanese Basketball Association, the governing body of basketball in Japan and is responsible for its National Team.

The trip marks a homecoming for junior Yuta Watanabe, a native of Kagawa, Japan, who in July played for the National Team – dubbed the Akatsuki Five – in an Olympic qualifying tournament in Serbia, though the team did not qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

“I'm looking forward to going and introducing Japan to my team,” Mr. Watanabe said. “Japan is a great country, and I know they are going to love it there. I really appreciate the people who planned this opportunity. It is going to be a fun trip, and I can't wait to play a basketball game in front of Japanese fans.”


Mr. Watanabe has also noted his teammate’s excitement for the trip, as he awaits the homecoming that will allow his family and friends to see how he has developed as a player over the last two years at GW.

Along the way, student-athletes will participate in a class to explore the globalization of sports in Japan. During the trip, students will visit iconic venues and meet with officials and executives of leading sports companies. Professor of Management and Tourism Studies Mark Hyman will accompany the team and lead the class.

After departing on Aug. 10, the GW contingent will arrive in Osaka the following afternoon and be treated to a welcome dinner that evening. The group will experience a mix of sightseeing, local cuisine, classes for the student-athletes and games over the next 10 days. Following three nights in Osaka, GW will head to Tokyo on Aug. 14, Hamamatsu on Aug. 18 and Okinawa on Aug. 20 before returning home Aug. 22.

GW is scheduled to play the Japanese National Team three times along with one game against the Ryukyu Golden Kings of the Basketball Japan League.


Saturday, Aug. 13 vs. Japanese National Team
Venue: Fuminkyosai Super Arena in Osaka
Tipoff: 4 p.m. local, 7 a.m. ET

Tuesday, Aug. 16 vs. Japanese National Team
Venue: Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo
Tipoff: 7 p.m. local, 10 a.m. ET

Friday, Aug. 19 vs. Japanese National Team
Venue: Hamamatsu Arena  in Hamamatsu
Tipoff: 6 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET

Sunday, Aug. 21 vs. Ryukyu Golden Kings
Venue: Okinawa City Gymnasium in Okinawa
Tipoff: 4 p.m. local, 7 a.m. ET

Follow along with the men’s basketball team as it travels through Japan by following the team on social media. Updates can be found on: Twitter (@GW_MBB), Instagram (GW_MBB), Snapchat (GW_George) and Facebook (GW Men’s Basketball).


Additionally, student-athletes will provide insight on their experience through’s blog, 22nd & G.