Dayton Mayor Jeffrey J. Mims will honor Dayton Flyers freshman guard Mike Sharavjamts by declaring Friday as Mongolian Day in the city.
Sharavjamts, the first Mongolian citizen to play Division I men’s college basketball, has started 20 games this season and appeared in all 25 games. He averages 5.9 points and leads the team with 79 assists.
“He’s been an ambassador for Mongolia in Ohio and even in America,” said Bayarmagnai Baika Puntsag, a consul at the Consulate General of Mongolia in San Francisco. “He’s been very successful. A lot of young people look up to him. It’s been a great journey. We are all cheering for him.”
As part of Mongolian Day, there will be an event, sponsored by CareSource, for invited guests from 2-4 p.m. Friday at the Pamela Morris Center in Downtown Dayton. Programming will highlight Mongolian culture.
Erhardt Preitauer, President and CEO of CareSource, will provide welcoming remarks. H.E. Batbayar Ulziidelger, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mongolia, will follow with the keynote address.
Representatives from U.S. Rep. Mike Turner’s office and from Ohio Lt. Governor Jon A. Husted’s office will attend the event.
Later on Friday, Dayton plays Saint Louis at 8 p.m. at UD Arena. Mongolian contortionists will perform at halftime.
Puntsag became a Dayton fan when Sharavjamts signed with the program and hasn’t missed a game this season on TV. He even watched the Flyers when he traveled home to Mongolia. He will attend the event and see Sharavjamts play in person for the first time Friday night. He sees the whole day as a way to promote his country. He urged people to consider visiting, saying it takes about 15 hours of flights to reach the country from the United States.
“Mongolia has been a hidden jewel, a hidden pearl,” he said. “I’ve met with a lot of Americans who dream of coming to Mongolia. It’s wide open to tourists. It’s not in outer space.”
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