History-making game recalled

Updated: 2014-06-09 11:58

By Liu Chang in Washington (China Daily USA)

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 History-making game recalled

Lee-you Zha (left), counsellor of the Chinese Embassy, meets with Albrette Ransom (right), director of Women in Sports Diplomacy, on Saturday. Liu Chang / China Daily

Recognizing that sports diplomacy has been developed for years in Sino-US relations, Albrette Ransom, director of Women in Sports Diplomacy, believed it's the right time to celebrate history again.

"At the 40th anniversary, it is an appropriate time for us to once again celebrate the historic event to see how far the US and China have developed on the diplomatic side. We do need to keep it going," Ransom said.

It was Novemeber 1975 and Ransom remembered it well. As captain of the Federal City Pantherettes Women's basketball team (now known as the women's basketball team of the University of the District of Columbia), Ransom said her team was one of five women's college hoops teams selected to participate in the historic "Friendship First, Competition Second" tournament facing the Women's National Basketball Team of China at the University of Maryland. At that time, she was 21 years old, and the number on her jersey was 12.

Ransom recalled the Chinese team had a 2-2 record when they met on court at the Cole Field House. Although Ransom and her teammates kept the game close, the Chinese team pulled away for a 68-50 victory, for the third win of their historic American tour.

Ransom recently appeared when the DC Divas played the Boston Militia at Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex in Landover, Maryland.

It's part of an event to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the US and China, the 30th anniversary of the Washington-Beijing Sister City relationship and also a 40th anniversary celebration for Ransom's team.

Lee-you Zha, Chinese Embassy counsellor, led the embassy delegation on June 7 to represent the 1975 Chinese national team.

"Developing a positive and healthy Sino-US relationship takes generations' efforts. We need to look forward to see mainstream and macroscopic progress. On civil levels, we both need to strengthen the foundation of our relationship," said Zha.

After former president Richard Nixon signed Title IX of the Educational Amendment, American colleges began to offer women basketball scholarships.