With only a couple of weeks to go before the start of the 2012 London Olympics, China has announced its twelve man roster for the men’s basketball competition. Both point guard, Liu Wei and center Zhang Zhaoxu made the cut and will be packing their bags for the UK once they return from Guangzhou, having played their part in helping China win its first ever Stankovic Cup.
For Liu, making the squad was almost a formality. This will be his third Olympic team and as mentioned when the training squad for London was first announced, it would have been unlikely that such a long-standing and still reasonably effective member of the Chinese national team would get kicked to the curb. The thirty-two year old veteran, who averaged 12.9ppg and 3.7 apg last season, will share the point guard position with Guangzhou Tigers’ Chen Jianghua and Liaoning Jaquars’ Guo Ailun.
As for Zhang, his inclusion seemed probable but just didn’t feel as inevitable as Liu’s. The young Sharks centre was one of a number of bigs included in an original roster that also included Han Dejun and Li Xiaoxu (Liaoning), Su Wei (Guangdong), and Wang Zhelin (Fujian Sturgeons). However, it will be Zhang who gets his shot and will join Donewald, the man who brought him to Shanghai when the latter was coaching the Sharks, in London.