Shanghai is more than a few thousand miles from Maryknoll School.
It’s a whole different world, really, which is part of the reason why the Spartans are there. Coach Kelly Grant’s basketball squad opened its tour of the massive city with a 74-64 win over Nanyang Model High School on Tuesday night.
Nanyang is the No. 5 ranked team in China. The game was aired on Maryknoll’s Facebook page using the Facebook Live feature. The contest tipped off at 10 p.m. Hawaii time.
Niko Robben led Maryknoll, the Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion, with 20 points, including three treys. Marcus Tobin tallied 15 points and eight rebounds, and Kalai Akaka also scored 15 points. Noah Furtado splashed two 3-pointers.
The game, like the cultural shift coming to China from the U.S., took time to adjust to.
“We shot the ball extremely well. We had some difficulties adjust to the international rules, like when to call time outs,” Grant texted. “Backcourt violations and the biggest one, setting screens.”
The voyage is much more than basketball and competition. Maryknoll has a Common Goal Diplomacy Program that emphasizes one-on-one interactions. Nanyang is providing host families for Maryknoll’s student-athletes and the teams are also sharing practice time together.
Maryknoll will play two more games on its tour this week.