Print and Go Back ESPN.com: College Basketball Nation [Print without images]

Monday, May 23, 2011
Hawaii raising money for tour of Asia

By Diamond Leung

Hawaii hopes to go on a foreign tour in August, and the trip to China, Hong Kong and Japan will be entirely privately funded. The team will not be using funds from the university or the state, so while corporate sponsors have underwritten a portion of the more than $100,000 that needs to be raised, the program is now turning to its fans.

Coach Gib Arnold is asking Warriors fans to either purchase travel packages or donate to help fund the foreign tour, with the school setting up the WarriorsToAsia.com website.

"We are hoping our fans will help support us in raising the remainder of the money needed for the trip -- either by purchasing a travel package or making a donation to our 'Warriors To Asia' fund," Arnold said in a statement. "We believe this will be an incredible experience for our team and a wonderful opportunity for UH to build lasting relationships with China and Japan. Those fans who join us will have an unforgettable experience."

The plan to get the team out to Asia has been quite an undertaking for Arnold, who believes it will get his players much-needed experience and momentum coming off a 19-win season. Aside from that, there's more.

According the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Arnold thinks the team's presence in Asia could pay off down the road in recruiting.
Beyond the valuable game experience for his team, including incoming players, Arnold hopes to make Manoa an appealing destination for future top-tier Chinese athletes, who, to this point, rarely leave their oft-closed society for American college athletics.

"Quite honestly, when I started thinking about this, I'd like to get the next Yao Ming," Arnold said with a chuckle. "It's become bigger than that, if you can become bigger than Yao Ming."