Olympics 2008: Basketball in China

Basketball became an Olympic sport in 1936. However, the Chinese team has won only one medal. The women’s team won a silver medal at the 1992 games held in Barcelona.

In the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, the men’s team reached eighth place. Jonas Kazlauskas, the Lithuanian coach of China’s Basketball team, believes that China’s Basketball team has a good chance of winning any of the medals at the Olympic Games in 2008. In 2004 many of the Chinese players were seen as, “young talents.” Since then they have grown and developed into experienced stars, arousing great expectations for the Chinese Basketball team.
In 2008 basketball will certainly be one of the most interesting sports to follow. Yao Ming, star of the Houston Rockets is one of the most famous athletes in China and a very well known Basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA). In order to be in the best possible shape, the Chinese team visited many coaching camps in the USA and took every effort to develop excellent programs to support junior players.

Currently, China is in 11th place of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) rankings (as of March 2007). It may be possible in the future for China to compete with the USA as the world’s best Basketball team. During the 2006 Asian Games held in Doha, both the women’s and the men’s teams won gold medals, even without help of NBA Star Yao Ming. So, the world can look forward with eager anticipation to a strong performance from China in Beijing 2008.

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