China's international basketball player Xue Yuyang has been picked by the NBA's Denver Nuggets in the NBA draft. However, the China Basketball Association, or CBA, says Xue Yuyang is not yet ready to play in the NBA, and they won't give him the green light to join the Nuggets. Despite feeling disappointed, Xue Yuyang says he fully understands and respects the CBA's decision.
21-year-old Xue Yuyang was the 57th pick. He was selected in the second round by the Dallas Mavericks and later traded to the Denver Nuggets.
Xue Yuyang, a 2.12-meter forward from Henan province, is training in Beijing with the Chinese men's national team, which is currently preparing for the Asian Championship scheduled for Harbin, China in September.
When he heard the news, Xue Yuang was unable to hold back his excitement:
"I was very happy to hear the news, although I tried not to show it. When I left the elevator just now, I met Yao Ming. He congratulated me on being picked."
In the afternoon, however, the China Basketball Association, or CBA, announced at a news briefing that they didn't support Xue Yuyang going to play abroad at this moment in time. The CBA spokesman Xu Minfeng says:
"Xue Yuyang doesn't have all the necessary qualities to play abroad. He should stay in China for a few more years to build up his experience of major events and to improve his skills. Once the time is right for him to play abroad, CBA will give him full support."
Though he was quite disappointed, Xue Yuyang says he will follow the CBA's decision:
"I agree with their view that I don't have enough experience to play in the NBA. Indeed, I'm still quite young. But this will inspire me to train hard and learn as much as possible about the game. I think I'll have another chance to play in the NBA."
His agent Xia Song is calm about the decision:
"We respect and fully support the CBA's decision. I think if Xue Yuyang can train hard and get some good opportunities here in China, he will be a much better player for it."
Fortunately, according to Xia Song, the Denver Nuggets will reserve a place for Xue Yuyang:
"They were happy to select Xue Yuyang, because he is a player with promising future. The Denver Nuggets respect the CBA's decision. And they will welcome Xue Yuyang to join their team at the right time in the future."
(People's Daily June 30, 2003)