BEIJING — What started as a trip to China to play some exhbition games for the Georgetown men’s basketball team turned violent Thursday night, when the game against the Bayi Rockets turned into an all out brawl with players throwing blows, chairs being thrown, and spectators tossing full water bottles at Hoyas player and coaches as they exited the court.
Georgetowns Coach John Thompson III took his players off the court with 9 minutes 32 seconds left in the game and the scored tied at 64. after a chaotic scene in which members of both teams began throwing punches and tackling one another.
Georgetown senior center Henry Sims had a chair tossed at him and so for self defense he greabbed a chair to make sure nothing else insued. It was the second time both benches emptied in physical game marred by fouls. By halftime, Bayi had 11 fouls while Georgetown had 28.
Immediately before the fighting began, Bayi forward-center Hu Ke was called for a foul against Georgetown’s Jason Clark. Clark took exception and said so to Hu, triggering an exchange of shoves.
That’s when both teams from ran onto the court, and mayham ensued.
“Tonight two great teams played a very competitive game that unfortunately ended after heated exchanges with both teams,” Thompson said in a statement. “We sincerely regret that this situation occurred.”
A statement from Bayi or Chinese officials was not immediately available.
Before anyone was seriously hurt, Thompson said, “We’re outta here,” and pointed toward the tunnel behind the Hoyas bench leading underneath the stands.
Georgetown was scheduled to depart for Shanghai on Friday morning for the final five days of its trip, but it’s unclear whether the team will do so.