No NBA stars but Yao Ming charity game cheers Wuhan

Jonathan White, South China Morning Post

Posted at Oct 06 2020 06:59 PM

One-armed viral star Zhang Jiacheng plays in the Yao Foundation game

China Stars beat Stephon Marbury-coached side that features Wuhan doctors who fought Covid-19

There were more than 7,500 fans in the stands as Yao Ming’s Yao Foundation basketball game took place at Wuhan Sports Centre Gymnasium on Sunday but something was missing on court.

Unlike in previous years, there were no active NBA players in the charity event, with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic limiting international travel.

Nonetheless, the crowd were delighted to watch a game between the Chinese Stars and a team made of local medical workers, celebrities and foreign stars.

The Chinese Star team, who were led by Team China coach Du Feng, won 122-107 over Stephon Marbury’s team.

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As in previous years, the third period featured schoolchildren, including the viral sensation Zhang Jiacheng. The one-armed teenager wowed the internet with his skills earlier this year.

Several Chinese celebrities and sports stars watched on, as did members of Wuhan’s medical community who were at the frontline of the coronavirus fight earlier this year.

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“You feel the sense of achievement when each year’s charity game successfully concludes,” Yao said, as reported by domestic media

“As it goes, however, I realised that it transformed into some responsibilities and something you can‘t live without.”