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NBA stars teach local teenagers in Shanghai

Reporter: Zhang Yue 丨 CCTV.com

08-09-2016 04:02 BJT

Teenage basketball players in Shanghai are getting the star treatment, from former NBA great Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter of the Memphis Grizzlies. The two cousins were invited to town as part of the 2nd Shanghai Citizen Sports Games.

More than 50 players between the ages of 6 and 13 took part in a basketball tournament this afternoon. For many, it was a dream come true to play with former NBA stars.

"The level of basketball in China is growing up and up. Basketball is the most popular sport in China, so I think from year to year, basketball is on the high level in China," said coach Marat Karimov.

McGrady spent one year at the end of his career playing for Qingdao in the Chinese Basketball Association and says he was impressed by the progress he witnessed. With professional basketball becoming more and more popular in China, the level of play is improving at all levels.

"I started to play basketball at a young age. I started when I was about 2 years old. I've always played basketball," Vince Carter said.

"In the USA, kids play basketball since four years old, while in China, children star play basketball from 13 years old. The purpose of inviting NBA stars to interact with Chinese teenagers is to get more children to pay attention to the sport," said Zhang Jinzhi, founder of Youth Basketball Development League.

Basketball is one of the 65 events at the 2nd Shanghai Citizen Sports Games. So far, more than 8.6 million residents have applied to be part of the citywide sports event that started in April and will run until the end of year.

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