UCLA, Georgia Tech Build Bridge With Chinese in Visit to Shanghai Disney
SHANGHAI – UCLA and Georgia Tech upperclassmen Aaron Holiday and Ben Lammers received rousing ovations on Wednesday, three days before even stepping on the court for the third annual Pac-12 China Game set for this Saturday in Shanghai.
As part of a visit to the Shanghai Disney Resort on Wednesday afternoon, the two student-athletes helped build a bridge between their teams and the roomful of Chinese media they were addressing to promote the approaching matchup between the Bruins and Yellow Jackets.
“I’m just excited to be here. Obviously it’s a different culture to me, I’ve never been here before, but it’s awesome – you all are very kind and I’m excited to perform for Chinese fans,” said Holiday, eliciting cheers from the media contingent.
“It’s been an incredible experience being here, experiencing a new culture. We’ve had a great time so far, everyone has been very friendly and really nice to all of us. We’re looking forward to playing in front of you,” added Lammers, again to an ovation.
Later during the session, Lammers addressed a question about his recent internship project at Georgia Tech. The mechanical engineering major described his research for the institute – a machine that laser scans the microstructure of metals, enabling an engineer to find or predict weaknesses in the material.
“Ideally, you could go up to a bridge, scan the bridge and tell where it’s about to fail, reinforce it and fix it so it doesn’t actually fail and hopefully save a few lives,” explained Lammers - a bridge builder as an athlete, and a bridge saver as a student.
In conjunction with and following the press conference, the student-athletes and cheer teams got a chance to interact with and explore the sights of Shanghai Disneyland Park with youth from the Yao Ming Foundation. For the second straight year, the Pac-12 Conference has committed to donating $10,000 to the foundation of the NBA Hall of Famer, and the youth will also participate in a basketball clinic on Thursday and attend the game on Saturday.
“Yao Ming has been an important supporter of our events here in China from the beginning, and we share his vision to support youth development, education, health and the welfare of China’s youth,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “We want the Pac-12 China Game to be more than just a basketball game, we want it to inspire the youth of China to pursue their dreams, both in academics as well as athletics.”
More information on the Pac-12 China Game can be found at pac-12.com/chinagame.
About Pac-12 Global
Founded in 2011, Pac-12 Global is an unprecedented effort to harness the passion and spirit of collegiate athletics to showcase the Pac-12 Conference and its member institutions around the world, while giving student-athletes access to transformative life experiences and impactful cultural exchanges. The initiative uses athletics to support the ambitious international strategies that many Pac-12 universities have embarked upon to extend their reach around the world. For more information on the initiative and its history, go to www.pac-12.com/global.