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03-11-2013, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by jekoh View Post
In fact they are the biggest national basketball team on the planet. At least they were in Beijing 2008 and even if you took out Yao Ming they were still bigger than everybody else. Is the younger Chinese generation really any smaller than their European counterparts any more these days, particularly the ones from Northern China where most of the hockey players come from?
When you have a population of over 1 billion people, there is bound to be quite a few statistical outliers. Given what I've heard, seen and read about the way the Chinese sports governing bodies run their youth development, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if they deliberately encourage unusually tall youngsters to play basketball.

The physical attributes of the average person doesn't matter if you have the means to "entice" the outliers into playing the sport you want them to. It's one of the advantages non-democratic nations have in sports.

If the Chinese Communist Party decided to fund a large-scale hockey program, I have no doubt that they'd have a national team filled with guys who are 6'2"-6'7" 15-20 years later if the men in charge of the program felt that would be desirable.

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