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UCLA sees it all on another busy day in China

August 24, 2012|By David Wharton
  • UCLA's Joshua Smith, shown during a game in January, and the rest of his teammates have been the center of attention during their trip to China.
UCLA's Joshua Smith, shown during a game in January, and the rest of… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

BEIJING -- With the first game of their weeklong visit to China still 24 hours away, the UCLA basketball team spent Friday going through a different sort of practice.

Tourists packed the lane at the Great Wall, clustering around the players as they hiked a steep section of the world-famous landmark.

Things got physical at a downtown restaurant known for its Peking duck. A large group from an adjacent table grabbed center Joshua Smith and pulled him to the front of the dining room, where he posed for one photograph after another.

Then came the slowdown -- an afternoon spent walking the palatial grounds of the Forbidden City, once home to China's long line of emperors.

It was a memorable day for a group of young men who had never been to this part of the world. Forward Travis Wear said, "We've done a lot of sightseeing."

With a game scheduled against Tsinghua University on Saturday night, it seemed that Wear and his teammates were eager to play some real basketball.


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