'One World One Dream' basketball game held at TKA

Mar. 22, 2013 @ 10:40 AM

With the pre-game scoreboard clock winding down and two basketball teams finishing their warm-ups, Xiaopeng Hua, of China, could finally see his senior project come to fruition.

“My goal for hosting this basketball game was to try and help bridge the communication divide between our international students and local students through a sport we all love,” said Hua, a senior at The King’s Academy.

Sport and language have more in common than one might think. Basketball is a game that anyone can play, Hua thought, all it takes is a ball and a hoop, and it can bring different nationalities together.

What better way, Hua thought, than through a basketball game?

“My second goal was to gain experience in, and have a better understanding of, what it takes to organize a large event and hope people would really enjoy it.”

That is exactly what Hua did.

He found sponsors: Willies Restaurant and Jumbo Buffet Restaurant. He had cheerleaders: the Academy’s middle and high school cheerleaders. And he even found a dance team, when a group of students decided to put a routine together to perform at halftime.

Hua recruited a group of international students to play against a group of American students all from Tennessee and billed the game as “One World, One Dream.”

It is a custom in an international basketball game to exchange gifts before tipoff, Adam Deatherage of Team Tennessee exchanged a football, and Hua gave a pair of ping pong paddles.

The game turned out to be a well-played game as the International Team topped Team Tennessee 55-49.

The International team was led by Ife Akinboyo (Nigeria), 16 points, 11 rebounds; Jeremy Weech (Bahamas), 13 points, 2 assists; Charles An (China), 10 points, 9 rebounds; Taishi Hayakawa (Japan), 9 points, 1 rebound; Xiaopeng Hua (China), 5 points, 3 rebounds; Teddy Lin (Taiwan), 2 points, 1 rebound; and Wei Chen (China) 2 assists.

Team Tennessee was led by Adam Deatherage (Knoxville), 12 points, 14 rebounds; Jacob Higdon (Walland), 11 points, 3 rebounds; Isaiah Gilmore (Alcoa), 10 points, 4 rebounds; Josh Keller (Dandridge), 9 points, 2 rebounds; and Brody Timmerman (Seymour), 7 points, 3 rebounds.

“It was a great thing for Hua to do,” said Deatherage, the Team Tennessee captain.

“Hua did a really good job organizing and putting everything together. We had an awesome time, which was really what the event was all about.”