Living in Dongguan is living in a basketball city, so it’s no surprise that our host Geno is a fan of the Winnerway Guangdong Southern Tigers. In this month’s Dongguan Live, Geno shows us around the Southern Tigers new state of the art stadium and the 2012 Dongguan Charity Cup which was held in Dongguan Sports Centre on 30th October.
Along with Southern Tiger’s coach Jason Dixon, Geno toured the new stadium meeting Yi Jianlian, Zhu fangyu, Wang Shipeng and the rest of the city’s heroes. Joining everyone in training was Derrick Caracter, the latest American recruit. Not quite the newcomer, Jason has been in Dongguan for more than 10 years and has even received an award as a Dongguan honorary citizen. When asked what keeps him around besides the basketball, he humorously replied: “Go-karting, we have some go-karts in Huanan Mal and love them! All the players want to ride them when we’re not wrapped up in basketball which happens all day, like practice which happens twice a day, and even when we’re not doing it we’re watching tapes on it. So that’s why we’re here, we’re here to work and it’s my life.”
The new stadium hosts several restrooms, saunas, constant temperature tubs, weights gyms and two NBA standard courts. The gyms are totally modern with traditional free-weight equipment and pressurized air resistance machinery that puts less strain on a player’s joints. “The secret of a long career is for player’s to take care of their body off the court. People don’t see what we do off the court, it’s a lot of stretching, icing and a lot of heat. Now these excellent training facilities have been built in one location our player’s will be kept in good shape for a long time,” Jason said. After filming downstairs, Jason invited Geno to try the ice tub and led him along with a big smile on his face. With just one foot in, the freezing cold produced an immediate reaction, Geno was in and out in seconds while Jason laughed!
At 7pm sharp, Geno and his friends were at the stadium cheering for the teams as the 2012 Dongguan Charity Cup got under way. It was an exhibition game between the Guangdong Southern Tigers and the Dongguan Leopards. The Tigers finally defeated the Leopards 82-70, but what impressed Geno most of all was the charity auction, which raised more than 1,000,000 RMB for the homeless.