To understand China’s basketball ambitions, look no further than the four Chinese characters that adorn 16 glass backboards in a sprawling sports complex near Tiananmen Square. “Basketball’s new generation surpassing the old,” they read. (casperstartribune)
In the shadow of those boards, 18-year-old Li Boyang is the next generation _ the one Yao Ming spawned. He speaks English, lugs a scuffed orange basketball and happily hands over 15 yuan _ about $2 _ to play an hour of half-court at the Dongdan Sports Center.
“When Yao Ming made the NBA, it started to get us interested in basketball,” said Li, dressed in shiny white sneakers and a baggy, oversized, flannel-like shirt. “For many of us, it was Yao.”