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7-foot-3, 17-year-old hooper may follow Han Xu’s WNBA legacy
Credit: © Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

7-foot-3, 17-year-old hooper may follow Han Xu’s WNBA legacy

NEW YORK (BVM) – Zhang Ziyu is a towering 7-foot-3, 17-year-old female basketball player on the Chinese national team.

Zhang showcased her talents to the world during her international debut at the FIBA U18 Women’s Asia Cup on Monday. In just 13 minutes off the bench, she scored 19 points, grabbed seven rebounds, blocked three shots, made two assists and had two steals. Her impressive performance contributed to China’s overwhelming 109-50 victory over Indonesia. 

Zhang also totaled a remarkable 36 points on 80% shooting to help China upset New Zealand in group B of the FIBA U18 Women’s Asia Cup. Her basketball highlights, shown below, are going viral on social media. 

Zhang is being compared to Han Xu, the 6-foot-11 star known for her contributions to women’s basketball in China and the WNBA. Many hope that Zhang will follow and become the next big WNBA Chinese star. 

“The WNBA needs to call Zhang up,” echoes many fans online. 

“[Zhang’s] WNBA stats 100 PPG, 50 RPG, 20 BPG,” joked one user on X.  

Zhang would be exciting to watch in the WNBA, considering she can also dunk. Only eight players have ever dunked in a WNBA game, per Sporting News. 

If Zhang were to join the WNBA, she would become the tallest in league history – breaking Margo Dydek’s record of 7 feet and two inches. Interestingly enough, Zhang is just one inch shorter than NBA big man Victor Wembanyama. 

Nonetheless, Zhang’s rise would continue China’s tradition of producing world-class talents. She could even someday grow past 7-foot-6 former NBA star Yao Ming.  

“It’s not only her size, she also possesses a high basketball IQ, good hands and is so smart on the court,” Luan Mingjie, Zhang’s junior high school coach, previously told China Daily… “As for her athletic abilities, she can jump and run. She doesn’t need to though at this level because defenders can barely reach her elbow when she raises both hands to shoot a basket or grab a rebound.”

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