Dreams coming true at CBA Draft

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, July 31, 2018
Adjust font size:

A record 14 players were picked in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) draft on Sunday as teams continue to show increasing confidence in the system.

In the CBA's inaugural draft in 2015, just one player was selected, by Chongqing, while the other 19 teams passed on the chance to add new blood.

The situation is a lot different today.

"This is going to be a new start for all of you, no matter if you're from a college or a youth team. I wish good luck to everyone and we will make a better basketball league together," CBA president Yao Ming said ahead of the draft at Beijing's Wanda Realm Hotel.

"I hope you have a good memory of today, not like me," Yao joked, referring to his experience in 2002 when he was selected by the Houston Rockets as the NBA's No 1 overall draft pick but missed out on the excitement because he was in Beijing.

While it can't compete with its NBA counterpart in terms of spectacle, this year's CBA draft definitely had more of a buzz than previous editions.

Guard Si Kun, for example, celebrated with his agent and was cheered by the audience after Guangzhou picked him in the second round.

Powerhouse Guangdong Hongyuan became the first former champion to use its picks, selecting Shandong youngster Ji Xiang - son of former CBA great Ji Minshang - in the first round, and Wan Shengwei from Beijing University in the second.

The latter was voted the Finals Most Valuable Player of last season's China University Basketball Association league.

Proud father Ji Minshang said of his son's selection: "I was his first coach and I saw the talent and basketball IQ in him.

"I led him to the path of being a professional player. I never thought that he could be picked by Guangdong, and I'm very happy.

"Playing in the CBA is a dream come true for him. The team is very competitive with a great atmosphere. My son is still young. I hope that he grows with the team and creates his own legend."

Jilin landed No 1 pick Jiang Yuxing from Henan, with the guard set to earn at least 500,000 yuan (about $73,434) for his debut season.

"The CBA Draft is a dream come true for a player like me from the NBL (National Basketball League). I didn't know I would be picked No 1. I thought I had a chance to get top 10," Jiang said.

Bayi traded the top pick to Jilin - the first time in CBA history a No 1 selection has been dealt.

A total of 50 players from around the country took part in the draft weekend.

However, despite its growing profile and importance, the draft still has much to improve on.

Defending champion Liaoning and 2017 winner Xinjiang gave up both its picks for the fourth consecutive year, and just 34 players have been drafted in the past four years.

Last week, 2018 CBA runner-up Zhejiang announced it had offered a three-year contract worth $25 million to NBA All-Star Dwayne Wade, formerly of the Miami Heat.

The Lions picked Wang Zilu from their own youth team in the third round.

Follow China.org.cn on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter