Asian Aussies In Sports

Chinese Ex-NBA Player Now Plays For A Melbourne Team

These type of stories we will hardly hear about on the Aussie mainstream media, and that is because it is about someone of Asian descent, so it becomes no news, even though it is great news and something which should be written about – so here we go.

Professional basketball player Zhou Qi started his basketball career playing for the  Xinjiang Flying Tigers, which is his hometown team. His career grew when he was named “best defensive player” in the Chinese professional league and he even played for Team China at the Rio Olympics – all this and he is only 26 years old.

Following in the footsteps of his predecessor Yao Ming, Zhou, joined the NBA and was signed by the Houston Rockets in 2017 and 2018. After that he returned to China and played for the national team. He experienced some trials and tribulations where he was kind of blamed by netizens and Chinese fans for missing shots in a game China played with Poland.

Now he is in Australia and playing for the NBL with the South East Melbourne Phoenix Team. In addition he has millions of fans who are loyal and continue to cheer him on, with posts about him joining the NBL engaging over 15 million netizens all across Chinese social media platforms.

Considering he is kind of a big deal, you wonder why the mainstream media hasn’t mentioned much about him – except for ABC News. Zhou also hasn’t had an easy transition with a Melbourne United’s courtside announcer making inappropriate ( and I get the vibe racist) comments last December that  “Qi ‘probably doesn’t understand’ why the crowd was cheering when he missed shots”. I question the underlying meaning behind this. Anyhow, that announcer Wayne Peterson has made an apology to Zhou and has been suspended.

Via his translator Weihao Hou, Zhou spoke about his experience playing for the suburban Melbourne team (via ABC News):

“I just want to focus here,”

“Obviously I’ve thought about [going to the NBA].

“But at the moment I feel pretty comfortable here in Australia.”

“I wasn’t expecting such welcoming teammates — in the US I found everyone was playing individually, but here everyone’s supporting each other no matter what.”

We will definitely look to interview him, as its quite awesome and we wish him all the best to his career in Australia.

Images via ABC News

To read the original article, please click on: Millions follow ex-NBA basketball star Zhou Qi on his NBL journey with South East Melbourne Phoenix

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