Friday, October 12, 2007

Bay Area welcomes its own Chinese 7-footer

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While Milwaukee introduces itself to Yi Jianlian, we ought to do the same here in the Bay, at Cal to be exact. Enter Max Zhang, who made a cameo appearance at an Asian tourney last year that we wrote about.

It's late-night on Friday and I'm just checking good 'ol CalBears.com to find out the opponent and kickoff time of the #2 nationally ranked (pinch me!) California football Golden Bears of Jeff Tedford -- that's a well-deserved Swami aka Chris Berman shout out.

A quick click over to the Men's Basketball section where there's coincidentally news of the team's first practice and lo and behold, a mention of Zhang. A name I had not heard in 13 months!

Btw, I've also got the World Series of Poker on ESPN2 in the background and there's been, in sarcastic reference to Tony Bennett, a mention of fellow Cal alum William Hung. Make that two names I have not heard in 13 months!

So anyways, the official press release on Zhang's signing was nearly two months ago. Totally under the radar. Here's an excerpt from what I wrote on him last year...
"Max Zhang is an eighteen year-old skinny 7-footer from China. He really has no offensive skills yet, but can obviously dunk the ball and block people's shots with ease...He appeased other LVI players in the stands urging him to show off during warmups...At first glance, because the sheer thought of a 7-footer playing in an Asian American tournament borders on blasphemy, people tend to estimate his height at 6'8", then 6'9", then maybe ok 6'10". But after a good look, the consensus becomes seven feet."
The coolest part for us: if you do a google on "Max Zhang basketball", guess what comes up first?

P.S. It also looks like former Cal walk-on Thomas Fang is no longer on the team. Vinsanity, I guess you are no longer on the hook for that dreamblogue interview. If anybody out there wants to interview Zhang for us, let me know and I'll put you in contact with our insider at Cal.

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Monday, October 8, 2007

The passion of community basketball


Read on and you'll see what Jay-Z has to do with all of this.
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The folks at Bassett Productions (Tom, Sidney, and Andrew) recently made an incredible video about community basketball leagues. It was one of the most riveting pieces I have ever seen about basketball "for the rest of us". The documentary (I'm not quite sure if that's the right word) was actually market research for one of their clients, so unfortunately none of you will probably ever see it, as it remains the property of the client...

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