Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Chinese Youth Cagers Shrink and Go Younger

I am interested in the development of Chinese basketball particularly at the youth level and this discovery really surprised me take a look at this Houston Chronicle article dated August 26, 2006:

The problem is the teams in the Chinese Basketball Associa-tion do not want to give up their best players, weakening their teams. Yao's former team, the Shanghai Sharks, used to be CBA champions, but now are at the bottom of the league.

Concerns such as that probably have kept 6-11 forward Yi Jianlian out of the NBA draft in recent years and playing for the Guangdong Southern Tigers. Yi is long and athletic, with good instincts and quick moves around the hoop. The NBA received a notice at the start of last season that Yi was 19 years old and would be draft eligible in 2006. Then another notice arrived in January, informing that Yi was only 18 and too young for the draft. Most insiders believe he is 22. During an exhibition game two weeks ago, Yi told Shane Battier he's 24.

From Arthur Volbert / (article written last year)

The Chinese team looks young in its photo at but who really knows. With the slovenliness of Chinese record-keeping on ages it would not shock me if everyone is two years older than listed, or even two years younger. Yu Chen went from being born in 1994, at last year's Nike Asian Camp, to being born in 1990 here. Other Chinese players have also varied by 4 years in their listed ages. This makes it very hard to judge the potential of Chinese players.

China was winless at the Global challenge. It got blown out by Canada which lost to Puerto Rico. A nation of 1.3 billion which can produce talent like Yao Ming, Yi Jianlian and Wang Zhizhi should have the depth to produce competitive junior teams. China must realize that it is doing something very wrong in the way it develops its junior players.

Below is the official listing of the team for the Under-19 World Championship in Novi Sad Serbia

The other players are either playing in Las Vegas or were the last cuts on the team. These players were named for eligibility purposes in case someone got injured. Chen Jianghua is injured and that is why 13 players have their heights and positions listed. I do not know if Chen would have been sent here if he were not injured.

Note that Su Wei is listed at 212 cm and Wang Zheng is listed at 216 cm. Wang has grown 2 cm over the past year and is indeed considered to be a year younger than Su. Wang is clearly a player to watch.

Delehei, a Mongolian with one name, is listed as being 204 cm and not 207 or 208 cm as he is sometimes listed. He plays both center and power forward. He is listed as born in 1990 rather than 1989, as he is sometimes listed, but appears to have shrunk rather than grown in the last couple of years. That's what's so charming about junior Chinese players -- they can shrink and grow younger. (like laundry – mine)

Gu Aoke is listed at 196 cm and he is supposed to be an outstanding leaper who does 360 degree dunks. Tian Yuchen is listed at 205 cm and was listed at that height two years ago. This does make one suspicious that he was actually born in December, 1992. At the least it makes one seriously doubt that he will get any taller.

Xu Yong, on the other hand, appears to have grown an inch since he was MVP of the Adidas Camp two years ago.

The only point guard listed is Chen Jianghua, who is injured. Xu Xu is listed as 190 cm here and not 194 cm as he has been listed elsewhere. So he is probably a point guard. Yang Qin has also played the point.

Here is the list with the Name, Position, Height, Date Of Birth, Place Of Birth, and Current Club Team

Zhichao BA SF 200cm 6'7" 19/02/1989 Liaoning(CHN) Guandong (CHN)
Jianghua CHEN PG 187cm 6'2" 12/03/1989 Guangdong(CHN) Guangdong Southern Tigers, CBA (CHN)
DELEHEI C 204cm 6'8" 21/06/1990 Neimenggu(CHN) Bayi (CHN)
Jinhui DING -/- 27/10/1989 Zhejiang(CHN) -
Aoke GU SG 196cm 6'5" 12/12/1988 Liaoning(CHN) Shanghai Sharks (CHN)
Jingyu LI SF 198cm 6'6" 03/04/1991 Shandong (CHN) Shangdong (CHN)
Xiaoxu LI C 204cm 6'8" 05/06/1990 Liaoning (CHN) Liaoning (CHN)
Xiaoyu LIU -/- 14/03/1989 Jilin (CHN) -
Yahui LIU -/- 09/01/1990 Jiangsu (CHN) -
Wei SU C 212cm 6'11" 28/07/1989 Shandong (CHN) Guandong (CHN)
Yuchen TIAN SF 205cm 6'9" 30/12/1992 Jilin (CHN) Shanghai Sharks (CHN)
Zheng WANG C 216cm 7'1" 08/02/1990 Hebei (CHN) Guandong (CHN)
Xu XU SG 190cm 6'3" 05/01/1989 Henan (CHN) Bayi (CHN)
Yong XU SF 202cm 6'8" 30/03/1989 Shanghai (CHN) Shanghai Sharks (CHN)
Qin YANG SG 195cm 6'5" 28/04/1989 Jiangsu (CHN) Bayi (CHN)
Bo ZHANG SF 196cm 6'5" 30/09/1990 Liaoning (CHN) Bayi (CHN)
Jiadi ZHANG -/- 09/07/1988 Liaoning (CHN) -
Zhun ZHENG -/- 12/08/1992 Heilongjiang (CHN) -
Peng ZHOU -/- 11/10/1989 Liaoning (CHN) -

Average height: 200cm/6'7" which begins tomorrow. The players with their heights and positions listed are the ones on the final team.

What can I say except the Fountain of Youth is really in China! Slovenly record-keeping? Maybe but I doubt it. There seems to be a pattern and FIBA should take a look at this for if it is true then it is a blatant disregard of rules and people involved should be punished. It might as well stop these so-called youth tournaments if it can't stop this disgusting tradition (it is a way of life for some countries fielding ineligible players). It is so unfair to honest nations who compete fairly in those tournaments.

Related Posts by Categories

No comments: