Sun, Nov 28, 2010 - Page 20 News List

China’s Wang Zhizhi not ready to retire

AFP, GUANGZHOU, CHINA

China’s basketball team throw captain Wang Zhizhi into the air following their victory over South Korea in the gold medal game at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, on Friday.

PHOTO: REUTERS

Veteran center and former NBA player Wang Zhizhi said he is not ready to retire from national duty after the team beat South Korea 77-71 to defend their Asian Games title.

Wang, 31, was the star player in Friday’s gold medal game, scoring 20 points and making key plays down the stretch as China went unbeaten in eight games during the tournament.

“I will continue to play for the national team and with Bayi [his club] if they want me,” Wang told reporters. “I will try my best to stay in top condition and hopefully I can play in the 2012 London Olympics.”

Wang was China’s leading scorer and rebounder at the Asian Games, averaging 14.5 points and 5.3 rebounds per match winning his third Games gold medal.

With both NBA Houston Rocket Yao Ming and Washington Wizard Yi Jianlian unable to play because of their professional commitments, Wang played a critical leadership role for the team both off and on the court, coach Bob Donewald said.

In gratitude to his leadership, team players all put their gold medals around Wang’s neck and playfully bowed to him following the award ceremony.

“As a veteran to win this championship makes me very happy,” an elated Wang said.

Wang became the first Chinese player to appear in the NBA when he was signed by the Dallas Mavericks in 2001. He subsequently played for the Los Angeles Clippers and the Miami Heat.

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