Planet China

Hooped hero

The Hollywood hit White Men Can’t Jump was released in 1992. Were China’s producers to make their own basketball flick, it might be called Chinese Mayors Can’t Miss. That seems to be the conclusion of, which has been reporting on the shooting skills of Fuzhou’s mayor Yang Yimin, after video emerged of Yang playing in matches as part of the Cross-strait Financial Cup Basketball League. In a game against the China Development Bank’s local team Yang scored 64 points (more than the total points scored by CDB), and followed that feat up with 51 points in a match versus Industrial Bank. In both games no other player scored above single digits, illustrating the mayor’s on-court dominance.

But also noted from the video that Yang tended to be passed the ball and then allowed to shoot largely unopposed. A player from the league conceded that opposition teams do tend to take a more “relaxed” defensive posture when the mayor is playing, but also praised the accuracy of his shooting. A spokesperson for the league gushed: “Mayor Yang has always loved sports, especially basketball. Athough he’s already 58 years-old, his physique remains good and he often uses his spare time to participate in basketball tournaments.”

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