Former NBA players "challenged" by students in NW China

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LANZHOU, April 2 (Xinhua) -- Two former NBA players came to Lanzhou University on April 1 to meet students and offer coaching advice to local basketball fans.

"Defense! Defense!" shouted ex-Houston Rockets center Tim Ohlbrecht to players on the basketball court, during a match between two teams from elementary schools in Lanzhou, in northwest China's Gansu Province.

Ohlbrecht has been coaching since his retirement from playing last year.

"I'd rather to be a coach than a professional player, teaching more and more teenagers to play basketball. Training new blood is crucial for the future of basketball."

Together with fellow ex-NBA player David Daniel Jones, and his daughter Mailee Cara Jones, who plays on the Vietnamese national basketball team, Ohlbrecht arrived at the campus and met with local students.

Fan Baojun, vice president of Lanzhou University, welcomed the arrival of the three guests.

"This activity can help spark students' enthusiasm for basketball. Learning from professional players, our basketball team can make a great leap forward in future competitions," Fan said.

After being welcomed by a cheerleading dance from local primary school pupils, the three basketball players were challenged one-on-one by coaches and leaders of Lanzhou University's basketball teams. They then helped coach a 30-minute friendly match between two women's teams.

"Basic skills are the ace in the hole. Those who receive professional training at a very young age may perform better in the future," said Ohlbrecht, committing himself to popularizing basketball among children and teenagers. Enditem

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