The men’s basketball game against the Maine Black Bears on Saturday, Feb. 22, marked the start of a historic achievement for Stony Brook Athletics — the first game to be streamed in Mandarin.
“The role of intercollegiate athletics at Stony Brook is to extend the University brand on a regional, national and global level, and producing our games in Mandarin is one way to do that,” Shawn Heilbron, the Stony Brook Director of Athletics, said in a press release. “Stony Brook is such a diverse institution, so we’re constantly looking for ways to connect with a broader audience. Our belief is that basketball is an international game that serves as a common thread whether you speak English or Mandarin.”
Stony Brook University was recently listed by USA Today as the ninth-most diverse student body, as well as the 59th-best on Forbes’ list of America’s Best Employers for Diversity. Nearly 2,500 of Stony Brook’s students hail from China.
Ky Wang, a Master’s student pursuing a degree in sports management, will serve as the Mandarin commentator for the rest of the basketball season. Wang, a former professional swimmer and assistant basketball coach in Shanghai, is from China’s Zhejiang province.
“I’m excited,” Wang said in a press release. “The people will definitely love it. People in China like basketball. They cannot get enough of it.”
The stream in Mandarin is a result of a partnership between Stony Brook Athletics and Kiswe Mobile, a startup company for streaming technology that has been used in the past by the Washington Mystics of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).