Slam dunk inspires young players

By Wu Jin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, September 1, 2013
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Inspired by the NBA slam dunk contest, Beijing Sports University graduates Wang Bin and Shi Yan established their own slam dunk team some two years ago.

Their team -- "Jumping Soul" – is composed of more than a dozen members and has thus far appeared (and played) in several TV programs, including the WCBA intermission. They are now vying for a spot on the 2014 CCTV Spring Festival Gala, a lifetime opportunity coveted by many in their quest for stardom.


 The team of "Jumping Soul" []

Yet most team members disagree that their desire to participate in the Gala stems from a hunger for fame and fortune; instead, they say, they want to share the fun of slam dunking with a wider audience.

"We want to help people to fulfill their dreams of slam dunking with the help and support of some facilities," Wang said. "We do need money to run the team, but it doesn’t matter how much we make. We simply want to enjoy the game."

Except for the training center Beijing Sports University offered them to use free of charge after the team became famous, all the facilities, including several cushions and a sloping trampoline, were purchased and even made by the team itself.

Shi, the designer of the sloping trampoline which is crucial to the final bounce in front of the basket, said he had discarded several old trampolines, the angles and resilience of which still require further improvement.

"Developing 'Jumping Soul' was very difficult," Shi recalled. According to him, they had to play outdoor games with total strangers just to win a basket for practice because they did not have the money to rent indoor practice space.

Conditions did not improve until they succeeded in gaining the support from the university’s training center after endless rounds of applications.

Despite earlier difficulties, the team is now attracting more and more students.

"It is about sport, body shaping and friendship," said Cui Enze, a team member and student at the university's Body Science Sports School.

"I love basketball, and slam dunk in particular. When watching my teammates standing upside down under the basket, I think they are just the coolest."


 A team player jumps to the basket. []

Cui is probably not the only one who joined the team after being impressed by their dazzling show. Li Chongyang, a student from the university's Martial Art School, had the same experience. "When I watched their performance, I found the sport to be elegant and beautiful. I dreamed of joining them whenever I got the chance."

And that chance came when "Jumping Soul" was lacking one member when they were ready to perform in a WCBA final. Wang spent one entire afternoon practicing and eventually (and successfully) completed his mission. "When playing with them, I become more and more attached to the team. There is no hierarchy within the team and we all work together, joined by our love for the game."

It is true that all members joined because of their passion for basketball, but they do not love it blindly. They want to have their own identity and they want to enhance their communication with like-minded souls in all four corners of the globe.

"We add elements of acrobatics and martial arts to our performance in order to convey our identity and demonstrate Chinese culture," said Wang Jie, a graduate from the university’s Education School.

His view is echoed by Shi, who later added they do not only demonstrate Chinese culture, but also want to exchange experiences with overseas players.

"We hope we can exchange our thoughts with overseas players and learn from each other. Our techniques need to be constantly improved and we need to approach the game in a more scientific way," Shi said.

Team member Sun Zehu, a student at the university's Education School, concluded: 'We do all this because we have dreams, passions and tons of positive energy."


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