Sichuan signs veteran Chen in quest of WCBA title

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Sichuan has reaffirmed itself as one of title favorites for the Women's Chinese Basketball Association (WCBA) league by signing veteran guard Chen Xiaojia from Jiangsu on Friday.

"Following friendly consultation and communication, former Chinese national player Chen Xiaojia has joined Sichuan from Jiangsu," read a statement from the Sichuan club, which also expressed its gratitude and respect toward Jiangsu.

Chen became Sichuan's fifth newcomer during this offseason. Sichuan, which finished fourth in the 2020-21 season, has boasted as many as seven current or former Chinese internationals so far.

Chen was recruited by the national team for the first time in 2009, and played at the FIBA World Championship in 2010 and 2014, and the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.

Chen has been a member of Jiangsu in the WCBA since 2007. She won the regular-season MVP in the 2008-09 season with an average of 17.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists. She has been named in the All-Star Game line-up on several occasions over the past 14 years.

Chen helped Jiangsu finish third in the 2019-20 season by averaging 10.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.7 assists.

Contributing 11.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists per contest, the 34-year-old guard led Jiangsu to the final of the ongoing 14th National Games before losing 100-52 to the United Team, which was composed of national players competing at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Chen showcased her defensive, rebounding and playmaking capability in Jiangsu and was deemed as a cornerstone of the team.

"We hope that Chen can fit into the team quickly and produce new achievements along with other members," added the Sichuan statement.

Prior to Chen, Sichuan had recruited Li Meng, Sun Mengran, Han Xu and Wu Di in quest of the WCBA championship next season. Sichuan also has veterans like Shao Ting and Gao Song in its roster.

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