BEIJING, March 13 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese men's national basketball team is aiming to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, and to make their best effort to achieve good results, said Yao Ming, president of the Chinese Basketball Association.
The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019, which will be held in China from August 31 to September 15, will be a vital test for Chinese men's national basketball team. "To achieve direct access to the Tokyo Olympics, we must be first in the Asian Zone of the World Cup," said Yao.
It will be the first time ever for the tournament to be held in the world's most populous country. "I hope some Chinese basketball players can come to the fore through this event and be remembered even after a decade," said Yao.
Yao, also a CPPCC National committee member, submitted a proposal to the China's top advisory body last year about promoting "small basketball," which features a smaller size ball, a lower basket and a smaller area to help youth of different ages to avoid injury.
"100,000 small basketball players have been enrolled in the Chinese Basketball Association after one year. We hope the promotion of small basketball can gain more support from parents, which is of great importance to lay a solid foundation for China's basketball development," Yao added.