Pac-12 Volleyball All-Star Team Explores the Sights of Shanghai

SHANGHAI, China - On a cloudy Wednesday morning, the Pac-12 athletes set out to explore a few of Shanghai’s famous tourist attractions but Mother Nature had another idea in mind. As the team got off the bus, it began to “rain cats and dogs,” said Kelsey Humphreys from Stanford.

After escaping the rainstorm, the group explored the markets of Shanghai. Each of the girls broke out their inner businesswoman and negotiated for their favorite souvenirs at a local open market. The athletes’ and coaches’ favorites included sneakers, bags, clothes, and sunglasses.

As the rain slowed, the Pac-12 athletes made their way to the sixth tallest building in the world, the Shanghai World Financial Tower in Lujiazui.  The team took in the view from the building’s 100th floor on the world’s highest observatory.

“The Shanghai skyline is incredible. I didn't think that landscapes could be like sculptures – it’s so pretty seeing the different types of artwork in different countries,” said Arizona’s McKenzie Jacobson.

In the afternoon, the players explored the Bund, the Huangpu River’s waterfront and a world famous symbol of Shanghai. After snapping photos with several tourists, the team walked back through People's Square, one of the city’s busiest districts.

The all-star team gathered with local Pac-12 alumni for dinner at The Press, the former home of the commercial Chinese newspaper published between 1872 and 1949 and currently owned by Stanford alum Lin Li.  

Over the past two days the team has tried a mix of Western and local food. “Last night we tried a variety of Chinese dishes. It felt like they just kept bringing new dishes and I didn’t recognize most of the food but I did try squid,” said BreElle Bailey of ASU.

The Pac-12 all-star team will tip off their first match of the China tour on Thursday, June 23 against a professional volleyball team from Shanghai.

The tour is another milestone for Pac-12 Global, an initiative to promote goodwill and transformative life experiences through student-athlete exchanges and sport, and to showcase the Conference and its member institutions in China. Student-athlete tours have been organized in the sports of men’s and women’s basketball, as well as women’s volleyball. Coaching clinics have also been organized with Pac-12 coaches sharing their knowledge of sport with Chinese groups both abroad in China and at member campuses, as well as hosting exhibition games with some of China’s top teams in women’s volleyball and women’s soccer. This past November, the Conference hosted the Pac-12 China Game in Shanghai, becoming the first ever league - college or professional - to host a regular season basketball game in China. For more information about Pac-12 Global, visit http://pac-12.com/global.