Washington, Texas schools to play in China

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Mar 17 2014 02:39 PM | Updated as of Mar 17 2014 10:39 PM

LAS VEGAS - The University of Washington will face the University of Texas in a groundbreaking regular season men's basketball game in China next year, school officials announced.

The collegiate offering will be the first regular-season college or pro matchup for a US league in China.

And Pacific-12 Conference commissioner Larry Scott sees the China game becoming an annual event.

"The Pac-12 and our universities are proud to be pioneers in China," Scott said.

The Pacific-12 Conference is a collegiate athletic conference that operates in the western United States.

The game will be staged on the morning of November 14, 2015, and be telecast live in the United States.

While collegiate sports in many nations are closer to recreational level, many US college basketball teams develop top talent for the NBA and sign multi-million-dollar telecast deals, peaking for the "March Madness" national championship tournament that begins Thursday.

The Pacific-12 Conference, which signed a deal with the Federation University sports China, has previously sent college men's and women's basketball teams and a volleyball squad to China for clinics and exhibition matches.

"The event offers a unique bonding experience for the student-athletes early in the season and an excellent forum to showcase the university and connect with alumni in China," Washington athletic director Scott Woodward said.

First-year Texas athletic director Steve Patterson sent the Arizona State men's basketball team to China last year, when he had the same job at the Pacific-12 school.

"We are excited to be opening the 2015-2016 season against the Washington Huskies in China," Patterson said.

"This will be a great educational experience for our student-athletes and another opportunity to strengthen the university's brand in the world's most populous country."

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse