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

Monday, August 8, 2011
Foreign tours come with language barriers

By Diamond Leung

Hawaii is currently in China on its preseason tour and already has its go-to guy when it comes to overcoming any language barriers it might encounter there.

Hauns Brereton, a junior college transfer from Tennessee, spent two years in Taiwan serving his church mission and speaks Chinese. He was able to show off his skills in a video with Warrior Insider in which Hawaii coach Gib Arnold asked how to say certain basketball phrases, only failing to sufficiently translate of all things, "Get back on defense!"

Other teams won't be so fortunate in having foreign language speakers on the roster. When Iowa State asked its players in advance of the team's trip to Italy to read off a few phrases, the most popular line appeared to be...

"My favorite one is 'non parlo italiano,'" Cyclones forward Anthony Booker said. "It means, 'I don't speak Italian.'"

It's fine not to speak the language fluently, but it certainly doesn't hurt to try, especially when the players will be getting as much of a cultural experience out of these trips as they will experience on the court. For some, it will be their first time leaving American soil. Playing overseas could also be in their professional futures, so it never hurts to pick up a phrase here and there.

For Georgetown, it helps that in advance of its trip to China, staff member Michael Wang can assist with showing everyone from the players on down to the team mascot how to say a few things in Chinese.