Edition: English | 中文简体 | 中文繁体 Монгол
Homepage > Sports Video

2016 FIBA Stankovic Cup: Wang Zhizhi ends 20-year basketball career

Reporter: Mike Fox 丨 CCTV.com

07-06-2016 16:15 BJT

Wang Zhizhi receiving a fitting tribute during last night's game, as players both past and present paid tribute to the man who was the first Asian to play with the games elite.

It's been 20 years since Wang Zhizhi played in his first Olympic Games. The 38-year-old officially retired from basketball on Tuesday in Beijing after a diminishing ammount of game time in the CBA last season. His farewel ceremony came at a time while China are preparing for another summer games journey with Gong Luming, the coach who selected Wang in 1996, leading another young team to new campaign in Rio. 

"It has been 20 years and time flies. Coach Gong was only 39 at that time but now he's close to the age of retirement himself. He will lead young players to a difficult challenge and I hope he can stay healthy so the team can have good journey at the Rio Olympics," said Wang Zhizhi retiring from basketball.

Seen as one of the most successful basketball players from Asia, Wang played for China in four Olympics. A block on American center David Robinson proved to be a highlight in Atlanta and he found himself drafted by the Dallas Mavericks 6 year later and became the first ever Asian the play in the NBA, before now Hall of Famer Yao Ming was signed by the Houston Rockets. The pair were both teammates in the national team and opponents on the domestic court but they both marked a prominent era for Chinese basketball players going overseas.

"Wang and I had been playing together on the national team for a long time and we both have to look back on. But what I liked the most was playing against him. To have such a great opponent can help me reach my potential and this is what I want to thank him for," said Yao Ming hall of famer.

"Now it's a test for China's basketball. The market for basketball is fairly good now but I hope they can improve on their level of play. After all, the basketball reform has lasted now for 21 years. We have gone through four Olympics and I hope the young guns can give everything they have at the upcoming Games," said Wang Zhizhi China 1996-2016.

Wang received medals from his now ex teammates echoing the scenes in 2006 when he scored 28 points to help China win in the final of the Asian Games in Doha. In the game that followed the goodbye ceremony China fell to Nigeria with Wang watching from the bench throughout. Without the familiar number 14, the current Chinese team, led by 29-year-old Yi Jianlian will have a lot to live up to in the upcoming Rio Olympics.

Follow us on

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Instagram

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Wechat