LONDON, United Kingdom (2012 London Olympics): Guard Chen Jianghua will wear jersey No 13 for China at the 2012 London Olympics.
Nothing. Just that for the last three Olympics beginning from 2000 Sydney through 2004 Athens till 2008 Beijing, the Chinese jersey No 13 was worn by a 229-cm giant from Shanghai responding to the name Yao Ming.
Like Yao Ming (right in the combo pic above), Chen Jianghua (left in the combo pic above) too shot into instant stardom in the early part of the 2000s. After an impressive international debut at the 18th FIBA Asia U18 Championship at Bangalore (India) in 2004, the 188-cm guard was drafted into the Chinese National Team for the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan making him one of the youngest to have ever played the tournament.
A modest 3.5 points and 1.5 rebounds per game average marked his first appearance in a world event, and after that the Guangdong Southern Tigers star went into oblivion his career undone by a series of injuries the worst of which was a ACL tear in 2010 which ruled him out of the 2010 FIBA World Championship at Turkey.
But Chen Jianghua bounced back into the reckoning with guts and gumption adding guile to his repertoire of his speed and skill.
At 23 years of age, Chen Jianghua is already a veteran of the basketball life having been through the grind of ups and downs the sport can throw. A good performance at the Olympics might hold the key to Chen Jiangua’s future. With the impending retirement of the 32-year-old Liu Wei, some say the future of Chinese basketball.
The Chinese roster with jersey numbers
4 – Ding Jinhui; 5 – Liu Wei; 6 – Yi Li; 7 – Wang Shipeng; 8 – Zhu Fangyu; 9 – Sun Yue; 10 – Zhang Zhaoxu; 11 – Yi Jianlian; 12 – Guo Ailun; 13 – Chen Jianghua; 14 – Wang Zhizhi; 15 – Zhou Peng