1998 – China

On 20 November 1998, ACBA embarked on a second overseas basketball tour but this time, the veterans together with the Dragons (Boys) and the Queenbeez (Girls) making a total of 36 people, made the trip to Hong Kong and China. The cities visited were Shanghai, Hangzhou, Beijing, Guangzhou, Chung Shan and Hong Kong.

The Veterans team competed in the over 40s age group in the 14th World Basketball Invitational Tournament for Chinese in Beijing, whereas the Dragons and Queenbeez played exhibition games in Beijing, Hangzhou, Chung Shan and Guangzhou. It was the first time, ACBA had taken their young teams on tour and it was the first, in the history of the World Chinese Basketball tournament, that the organising committee had welcomed a young and non-Chinese team to be a part of their traditional veteran competitions.

The young boys and girls had a tremendous experience, playing top level basketball and also experiencing new culture and customs because for many of them, they were in their 17s and 18s, and it was their first time to go overseas. However, the inexperience did not deter these teams to play well, and we had very good results. Boys won 6 of their 8 games, and the girls won 5 out of their 8 games. The games against the Renmin University and Beijing University were very close and exciting. In Chung Shan, our boys and girls were treated like celebrities where they were mobbed and children were seeking their autographs. The crowd in Chung Shan was electric, and the stadium was packed to capacity.

The highlight of the 1998 Basketball Tour was the visits to the Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China. It was in the middle of Winter and the snow made the Great Wall of China one of the most unforgettable sights ever. It was freezing cold but the tour was very successful and enjoyable to date.