Saturday, August 11, 2007

Energee blogs from China 

Posted by Sasha at 10:16 AM ET

Milwaukee Bucks: Six members of the Milwaukee Bucks Energee! Dance Team are making the most of their brief visit to China. The group has already been to the Great Wall of China and learned how to say, "We Are Energee!" in Chinese.

The group’s visit is part of the NBA’s Jam Van China program. The China NBA Jam Van is a tailor-made, 52-foot truck that transforms into a 10,000 square foot interactive playground of free basketball activities, allowing fans of all ages the opportunity to play like the NBA pros. Energee! will spend most of their time in Beijing and will perform and assist with Jam Van activities from August 3 – 5.

Earlier this summer, from June 6-10, Bucks mascot Bango was in Zhengzhou, China appearing as part of the Jr. NBA China Skills Challenge. Two summers ago, then-Bucks guard T.J. Ford visited the country with Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard as part of the Adidas Superstar Camp. In July of 2005, the Milwaukee Bucks joined with the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce's China Council (MMAC) in facilitating the MMAC China Council – Ducks Business and Basketball Exchange. The Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) spent 12 days in Milwaukee, Wisconsin receiving basketball instruction from Bucks legends Bob Lanier, Sidney Moncrief and now Head Coach Larry Krystkowiak working out at the Bucks Training Center. Ducks coaches learned new drills and techniques. The Ducks played a local team of college all-stars in the Bradley Center and visited various Milwaukee and Madison, WI businesses, while also meeting with local businesses and Chinese community leaders.

The NBA Jam Van is in China for the third consecutive year. The tour tipped off in Guangzhou on March 30 and will run through October 4 in Xi’an. During that time, the Jam Van will travel to 24 Chinese cities – seven more than last year's tour – and the journey will cover more than 25,000 miles, traversing four municipalities and 16 provinces in its continuous quest to bring the NBA experience to fans all over China.

This off-season, the NBA is hosting a record 170 grassroots events in 110 cities in China. In addition to Jam Van and the Jr. NBA Skill Challenge, the NBA will also host Basketball without Borders, preseason games, Motorola 2v2 Basketball Challenge, DHL Trophy Tour and Haier Academy basketball camps. Last year, the NBA hosted 43 events in 22 cities in China.

For more information on the NBA’s Jam Van, please visit www.NBA.com/jamvan.

Entry #1 - Wednesday, August 1
The Energee! Dance team has been selected to represent the NBA and The Milwaukee Bucks during the NBA Jam Van Tour in China. We are leaving for Beijing this morning. All of us are so honored and excited to be a part of the first Energee! team to be invited to perform abroad. We will work hard to make Milwaukee proud. Director Lois Wagner Koepke is staying home to run auditions and start preparations for the 2007-2008 Energee! Dance Team, so Assistant Director Lynne Molthen will be going with Lindsey, Kate, Jennifer, Sherika, Sara and Stephanie.

We are not looking forward to the long flight, but are still very excited. We will be checking in throughout our trip, so check back for details regarding our adventure!

Gooooo Energee!

Entry #2 - Thursday, August 2
Ni Hao! (Hello)

Just in case you're wondering what we've been up to, we’ll give you a quick update. First of all, the 13-hour plane ride wasn’t so bad. We were all a little nervous about the flight, but after we took off the time flew by.

Once we arrived we were warmly welcomed by our tour guide, Kevin, and taken to our amazing hotel. Along the way Kevin tried to teach us Chinese. Needless to say, we need a lot of work. Later that same night, Kevin arranged for us to get massages in our rooms!

That was quite a treat.

Thursday morning we boarded our private shuttle to the Great Wall, practicing our Chinese along the way. We climbed to one if the highest points for an awesome view and some great pictures… and just to make things interesting; we walked the entire way in high heels!

Throughout the tour many people wanted to get their pictures taken with us… we think they thought Jennifer was Paris Hilton! After the Great Wall we went to the Beijing Dragon Land Superior Jade Gallery for lunch and a little shopping. Lunch was an array of authentic Chinese cuisine. We all tried everything including the oysters and lily flowers!

We just got back from a Mediterranean dinner with Lily and Jay from the NBA Jam Van Crew. We’re getting ready to practice for our first performance tomorrow! We’ll check back with you later with more updates! Go Energee! Go Bucks!

Zaijian! (Good Bye)

- Lindsey and Stephanie

Entry #3 - Friday, August 3
Hey everyone,

Kate and Jennifer here. We just finished our second full day here in China.

Today was our first day of performances for the Jam Van tour and it went really well! The fans were really welcoming and it was exciting to dance in such a different venue. It was nice to see all the support for the NBA and the Milwaukee Bucks; the Emcee was even wearing a Micheal Redd jersey! We have been very well taken care of, from the door-to-door private transportation to the high level of security.

On the way to the performance we saw Tiananmen Square. Once again Kevin, our tour guide, provided us with its historical background. During the performance we had a chance to practice the small amount of Chinese we have learned. We still need to work out the kinks as shown by Stephanie today when she meant to say, "I love Beijing," and really said, "I am Beijing."

The crowd reacted in laughter but appreciated the effort.

Throughout the day we were interviewed by Chinese and NBA media. The popular question of the day was, "What do you think of Yi?" It seems the people of China want to see him in a Bucks jersey just as much as we do!

All in all our first day at the Jam Van tour was a success! We ended the day on a high note with a little bargain shopping. We can't wait to see what tomorrow has in store!

Go Energee!

- Kate and Jennifer

Labels: , ,