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Popularity of hoops keeps retired player in Dongguan, Guangdong

2014-August-28       Source: Chinadaily.com.cn

The growing popularity of basketball in Dongguan, Guangdong province, is a key factor behind Du Feng's determination to stay with a local professional team.

The growing popularity of basketball in Dongguan, Guangdong province, is a key factor behind Du Feng's determination to stay with a local professional team.

"I felt at home when I played for the Dongguan team," said Du, a former player for China's first professional basketball club, the Guangdong Southern Tigers, as well as the national team.

Du, 33, stayed at the Dongguan-based club, serving as coach, after he retired as a professional player in April 2012.

Du, a native of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, started his professional career by joining the Guangdong club in 1996. He helped the team become champions of the top domestic league eight times over the past decade.

"There is always a good environment for basketball development in Dongguan. Not only professional players, but people living and working here love the sport. That's why I stayed here for more than 17 years," Du said.

In Dongguan, almost all schools and villages have basketball teams, he said.

"My players and I often visit some schools, where basketball is well promoted. Students play very well and we, as professional players, are very interested in joining them in the game," Du said.

According to Du, the Guangdong Southern Tigers have developed a very good training system to develop basketball talent.

"We have developed many prominent professional players and coaches who are now playing for various domestic clubs," Du said.

He said he hopes to stay even longer with the club to help develop more promising young players.

 

Editor: Echo

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