Yi Jianlian

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  • Post category:China

Name: Yi Jianlian

Country: China


Type of business: Basketball Player (for both NBA and CBA)

Main Achievements: Representative of China in the Olympics of 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016. 

Something interesting about the person: He was 19 when he played for the 2004 Olympics 

Born on the 27th of October, Yi Jianlian is a basketball player of the professional series Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and played for Guangdong Southern Tigers. Not only this, but Yi also played for National Basketball Association, the NBA, for multiple teams such as Washington Wizards, Dallas Mavericks, New Jersey Nets, and Milwaukee Bucks. 

Yi Jianlian became a part of the Guangdong Southern Tigers in the 2002 and 2003 season of CBA. In the same year that he joined, he was able to bag the CBA Rookie of the Year award. The first half a decade that he worked with Guangdong Southern Tigers, they were able to win three titles of CBA. In the year of 2007, the Milwaukee Bucks selected him for the NBA draft. He was their sixth overall pick. However, Yi did not agree immediately. He put the offer off for a few months and then finally caved in August, on the 29th of the same year. He played for more teams of the NBA before he finally came back to Guangdong Southern Tigers. 

One of Yi Jianlian’s significant achievements in his career includes representing his country, China, in the Olympics in the years 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. He also represented in 2006 and 2010 in the FIBA World Championships. Yi Jianlian was only 19 years old when he represented his country China in the Olympics of 2004. 

During his childhood, Yi Jianlian was not allowed to join sports schools, which prepare a child for a professional sports career. Still, his potential was evident and noticed by a sports coach while Yi was playing street basketball. The sports coach proceeded to talk to Yi’s parents and managed to convince them to let him train Yi professionally. Adidas soon invited Yi in hopes of signing him up to their ABCD camp in New Jersey in the year 2002. Yi played against American high-school players. 

In the same year (2002), Yi returned to China and found himself in a professional contract with CBA for the team Guangdong Southern Tigers. His point average was 3.5 than with 1.9 rebounds per game per season. In the playoffs, he averaged with 7.3 and 7.3 and went on to bag the Rookie of the Year award. In 2003, TIME magazine also offered him a spot in their magazine and called him the next Yao Ming. In the next games, Yi Jianlian took his team Guangdong Southern Tigers to the finals of the Chinese Basketball Association and, in 2006, bagged another award of CBA Final’s Most Valuable Player. Before Yi left for the NBA, in his final season in CBA, his average was at an all-time high of 24.9 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. However, in the last game, the Guangdong Southern Tigers lost to the Bayi Rockets. 

In 2011, there was an NBA lockout, during which he signed a year-long contract with Guangdong Southern Tigers. This was an exception made for Yi as most players during lockout are not allowed this. However, Yi was given the option to go back to the NBA once this was all resolved. 

Once the lockout was resolved, Yi Jianlian played for the Mavericks for the remaining season of the year 2011 and 2012. After this was over, he rejoined Guangdong Southern Tigers for the years of 2012 and 2013 with CBA. He went ahead and won the championship for Guangdong Southern Tigers this year. 

It was in the year 2016 and month of October that he returned to Guangdong Southern Tigers after training and spending time with the famous Los Angeles Lakers in their training camps.