SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

Fri, Oct 26, 2012 - Page 18

BASKETBALL

McGrady lands in China

Seven-time NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady has arrived in China to a raucous welcome from huge crowds ahead of his debut later this month in the country’s increasingly popular basketball league. The 33-year-old, who has signed a one-year deal for Qingdao DoubleStar Eagles, flew into his new home town on the eastern coast yesterday and was greeted by about 2,000 screaming fans, the China Daily reported. “For myself, I just want to go out and make my team better. I hope whatever we do, we can look back and say we gave it our all,” the state-run paper quoted him as saying. The 2.03m forward is the latest NBA player to choose China for a lucrative stint in their sunset years. Former NBA superstar Stephon Marbury led the Beijing Ducks to a first Chinese championship last season. Former All-Star Gilbert Arenas is also reportedly on the verge of signing a deal to play for the Guangdong Southern Tigers. McGrady is popular and well known to Chinese fans after his years playing alongside the now-retired Yao Ming — one of China’s most popular athletes — with the Houston Rockets.

OLYMPICS

Nationality bothers golfers

North Ireland’s Graeme McDowell says the International Olympic Committee (IOC) should step in to resolve the growing debate over whether he and world No. 1 Rory McIlroy should represent Britain or Ireland at the 2016 Olympics. McIlroy in particular has found himself drawn into the controversy as to which nation he should compete for in Rio de Janeiro. There have also been suggestions the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) would offer McIlroy the chance to carry the Ireland flag into the opening ceremony in four years’ time if he competes for the republic. However, OCI president Pat Hickey earlier this week said he was misquoted with this offer to McIlroy. McDowell says he and McIlroy “have one foot on each team” and added that the IOC should step in and say “you guys are either playing for Ireland or you’re playing for Great Britain.”