Chinese Gaining on U.S. in Basketball
And by gaining on the U.S., I mean their national team beat a Conference-USA team once in three tries. In case you missed it, Memphis coach John Calipari set up an exchange program where he had a Chinese coach following Memphis the past year. In return, Cal headed up a team of C-USA representatives that traveled to China for an exhibition tour. Calipari thinks all the traveling finally caught up to his team and led to the loss, and I’ll buy it. For Cal however, it’s not so much about the result as it is about the future possibilities from this program:
“We see what in all likelihood is coming. Basketball is just like everything else in China. It gets started and then it just rolls downhill,” Calipari said. “We are putting our program in a position to capitalize on that.”
“The risk in this is we never get a player. We end up with great relationships, some great new friends and experiences,” Calipari said. “If we do get a Chinese player, our team and university will be huge. We become an international school.”
Yeah, the one problem is that if they’re immensely talented like Yao or Yi (!!!!!), they go straight to the pros, no college rule needed. Still, this sounds like Calipari’s onto a good idea. Seems like he’s a little ahead of the curve here with this project. And I for one, can’t wait to see the first successful Chinese college player.