|  Register / Login

Former NBA Stars invited to play in China village

By Xinhua Thursday, 20 Aug 2015 12:00

Former NBA stars Jason Williams and Daniel Gibson are expected to give China's grassroots sports a boost when they play in the village-level basketball competition in southeast China.

Former Utah Jazz guard Bryon Russell and former San Antonio Spurs guard Johnny Moore were also invited, as coaches of competing teams, to the Aug. 19 to 23 event where five teams representing five villages in Shishi city square off against each other.

Williams will represent Neihuang village and Gibson, Liandai village, as they play together with 60 players from the national basketball development league of the United States.

Organizer Baogai village committee raised four million yuan (about 626,000 U.S. dollars) from its 3,400 villagers as well as local enterprises and overseas Chinese to stage the event.

"When people can lead a well-off life, they are willing to invest more in sports," Baogai village head Liu Yibo said on Tuesday.

Shishi is one of the richest cities in China, accumulating its wealth through garment industry for the past several decades.

Along with the economic development, governments at all levels have urged local residents to join in sports.

In the past five years, 150 basketball courts with lighting have been built in villages of Shishi.

"People in Shishi love playing basketball. We have grassroots competitions all year round," said Huang Mingxuan, Shishi cultural and tourism official.

Not just in Shishi, grassroots sports develop fast in China's countryside with government support.

A month before Shishi's competition kicks off, Tongxiang county in Eastern Zhejiang province launched their village basketball league.

Local farmers from nine village clubs compete in the league, each match drawing about 500 spectators.

Taken from Xinhua

Tags: basketball NBA


Join the discussion

Yutang Sports