WATCH: 17-Year-Old ‘Female Yao Ming’ Goes Viral

At 2.2 meters (7ft 3in), Zhang Ziyu has been towering over her opponents for years, but the 17-year-old has just made her debut on the international stage at the FIBA U18 (Under 18) Women’s Asia Cup in Shenzhen, that began last week.

Screenshot-2024-06-28-at-5.41.53-PM.pngImage via 百度AI图片助手

After coming off the bench, Zhang scored 99 points in just three games. In her third game, she scored 44 points to bring China a 97-81 victory over Japan.

A video of her performance went viral on social media, garnering Zhang international attention.

Clips of her nonchalantly placing the ball in the basket and easily racking up rebounds, steals, blocks, and assists racked up thousands of comments. Some joked the other team should try standing on each other shoulders to compete with Zhang.

Zhang’s parents were both professional basketball players in China. Her dad is 2.13m and her mother is 1.98m tall.

According to Chinese state media, Zhang was already 1.57m tall by the time she was in the first grade. In 2021, she led her team to win the title in China’s U15 National Basketball League. 

Image via @FIBA/Weibo 

Many netizens have compared her with the 2.28m (7ft 6in) Chinese basketball star Yao Ming, and commented on her future as a WNBA player.

However, to compete in the WNBA, players must be at least 22 years old. So while Zhang still has a while to wait before she can go pro in America, she has already proven herself to be a force to be reckoned with on the court.

[Cover image via @RNZ  ]

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