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Santa Barbara Breakers Invited to Play a Round of Games in China

The basketball team will play Chinese, Korean and Romanian clubs. Santa Barbara residents can donate souvenirs to be given as gifts to the opposing teams.

The Santa Barbara Breakers, champions of the West Coast Pro Basketball League who achieved a perfect 18-0 2008 season, have been invited by the Chinese government to play 12 games Sept. 19 through Oct. 5.

The Breakers will begin play in Shanghai for three games against Chinese professional clubs as well as Romanian and Fujian teams. Other stops along the tour will be in the provinces of Liaoning and Jilin. Bejing will be the final leg of the tour. The team will play Chinese, Korean and Romanian clubs in the Olympic city and as an added bonus, the government will provide paid access to the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Summerplace and all Olympic sites.

The Breakers will travel with an 11-man squad. Regular roster players will be Mark Peters, Shantay Legans, Allan Purnell, Tim Taylor and Justin Johnson. New faces wearing the red, white, blue and gold will be Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Jr., former Clipper center Keith Closs, ABA All-Star Lemar Gayle, WCBL leading rebounder Armand Thomas, WCBL leading scorer Jermaine “Tree” Small and WCBL 1st Team All-Defensive star Mark Dawson.

“This is a great opportunity for developing new, long-term relationships with Chinese basketball dignitaries, players and fans while also representing the great city of Santa Barbara, our country and the enormously popular game, basketball,” Breakers head coach Curt Pickering said.

Pickering said the team will offer gifts to each opposing team player and staff. Fans who would like to donate Santa Barbara souvenirs should call the Breaker office at 805.685.5600 or visit www.breakersbasketball.com.

All 12 games will be shown on News-Press WebTV as well as a daily documentary featuring Breaker players experiencing life in China.

Darice Yee represents arena operations for the Santa Barbara Breakers.

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