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Zhou Qi tagged as next Chinese star to land NBA

Updated: 2015-04-12 16:27

NEW YORK - 2.18-meter basketball player Zhou Qi is tagged as the most promising Chinese star to be drafted into NBA in 2016.

Zhou Qi tagged as next Chinese star to land NBA

File photo of Zhou Qi.  [Photo/IC]

19-year-old Zhou just wrapped up his journey in Nike Hoop Summit, collecting two points, three boards and three blocks in 12 minutes in World Select team's 103-100 victory over team USA on Saturday.

Zhou, who missed his only shot in the match with his two points coming from penalty shots, injured his ankle in training Four days before and had been sidelined for most of the training camp.

Zhou pulled down three blocks in five minutes, showing his strong defense power. Though he only managed two points from the match, his scoring capability is well demonstrated in his first-day training, burying all his 43 shooting attempts from different angle one step within the three-point arc.

Zhou's arm stretch is 2.30 meters wide, even better than the former 2.26m Houston Rockets center Yao Ming. Zhou's NBA prospect is quite bright in Draft Express's anticipation, which listed him as the first round draft candidate in 2016.

"His talent is amazing. He has wide arm stretch, he is high and his basic skills are solid," said World Select team coach Roy Rana, the Canadian junior basketball coach. "It's obvious he was affected by his ankle injury. I'm sure his future lies in the NBA league."

"I think he is a star. He is a very skilled athlete for a guy of his size. He fought through an ankle injury which meant he could not practise with us a lot," added Rana.

"He sat out three days and only really practised properly yesterday, but he made such an impact when he came in today. I was just glad that today he was playing on my team instead of against me."

Zhou's time on court is limited to 12 minutes due to his foot injury, but Zhou was not eager to shoot through his compressed playing time and focused more on defense and ball pass.

"It is teamwork first for me. It does not matter how many minutes I played. As long as the team won, that's all that mattered to me," Zhou said.

Zhou had an average of 14 points, 10.1 rebounds and 3.3 blocks in 2012 U-17 world championships. One year later, Zhou represented China again in U-19 worlds, averaging 11.3 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4 blocks.

In NBA draft preparation, Zhou should build up his body first. He is viewed as thin and lean currently for the NBA level.


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