Slow road to NBA for China's basketball teens

Updated: 2013-06-04 16:57


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A US high school basketball coach on Monday warned that young Chinese players face slower progress due to muscle differences between that of a US player of the same age.

The basketball coach of IMG Academy Bradenton in Florida was speaking of 18-year-old Meng Xiangyu from China, who enrolled at the school in 2011 in hope of a possible NBA career.

The 2.18-metre school boy from China's Liaoning province was reported as receiving "very slow" progress in training in the school despite starring his career domestically training with and playing for the national U15 team and provincial U16 team.

"We are training him with every caution…we will reduce the workout if he feels pain in foot..." said the coach, adding the boy is a hopeful center for NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), or even NBA, but it will not be quick to reach that high.

The school team faculty said Meng's bone is not yet able to carry his body and bear training as intensive as that of his US counterparts. In Europe, some teenager players were reported to retreat from professional training college because of premature high intensive training at a very young age.

"I am here to learn their playing style, instead of rushing for a quick result," said Meng, who stormed onto Sports headlines earlier in May with his tall figure and pursuit to NBA. "I am making progress these days…I am playing more one-to-ones instead of jumpers that I did when I firstly came here."