Diplomats Travel to Gateway City

Diplomats Travel to Gateway City

2010 Lopata Tournament Website

LANCASTER, Pa. – The Franklin & Marshall men's basketball team boarded a plane early Thursday morning bound for St. Louis, Missouri.  The Diplomats will play in the 27th Annual Lopata Classic hosted by Washington University on Friday and Saturday.  In addition to the host and F&M, the two-day tournament also features the Claremont – Mudd – Scripps and Tsinghua University from Beijing, China.

The appearance of a Chinese University team is not an everyday occurrence. It is believed to be the first time a Chinese University team has played in a single tournament at one location. Typically teams are allowed to travel stateside to tour the country and play in multiple events.

Tsinghua is one of nine universities in the C9 League in China. Established in 1911, the school describes itself as being dedicated to academic excellence, the well being of Chinese society and to global development. The university is consistently ranked as one the best universities in Mainland China.

Tsinghua University has an enrollment of 26,746. The basketball team finished with a 19-2 record last season. As one of China's most renowned universities, Tsinghua has become an important institution for fostering talent and scientific research.

The trip is particularly special to senior forward Mike Baker. Baker is from St. Louis and played high school ball at the Whitfield School.  F&M's trip will allow the opportunity for many of his friends and family to see him play collegiate basketball in person.

The Diplomats will face Claremont M.S. tomorrow evening at 4:00 p.m. (5 p.m. EST) and Tsinghua on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. (5 p.m. EST).

All games will feature free live video and live stats.