BEIJING, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Chinese basketball rising star Guo Haowen announced on Thursday his withdrawal from the 2021 NBA Draft and return to play for CBA club the Shanghai Sharks.
"After talking to my family, team and considering the suggestions from the Shanghai Sharks, I decided to withdraw from the 2021 NBA Draft," Guo wrote on his social media account.
"Now I have three plans for the future: the first is training harder, improving skills and strength, accomplishing missions in the CBA, and getting good grades; the second is winning glory for my country; the third is participating in NBA Draft again and enhancing my performance."
"A certain gap remains between international high-level young players and me. I realized this during the American tour of training," Guo said.
"I have not performed well enough. It has something to do with the size of the draft, but the main reason, I think, is that I was not well prepared. The NBA's three-point line distance, the intensity of physical confrontation and the fast pace of competition and training are the points where I have to improve and adapt myself to."
After being invited by the NBA, Guo received interviews from nine NBA teams, including Spurs, Jazz, Pacers, Cavaliers, Grizzlies, Bucks, Timberwolves. In the NBA G League Elite Camp, held on June 20, Chicago, Guo only got two hits out of 10 in his 37-minutes of play.
Earlier, Guo said that he would sign up as an early-entry candidate under the age of 22 to join in the competition for the draft. "I hope to take this opportunity to challenge myself in different games and further improve my skills. My dream is to become a better player and win glory for my country. I have full confidence."
The Shanghai Sharks also said on social media that the club respected Guo's choice in order to support the development of basketball in China and wished him success.
Guo is the seventh Chinese basketball player to voluntarily apply for the NBA draft, only after Zou Yuchen in 2017, Zhou Qi in 2016, Yi Jianlian in 2007, Sun Yue in 2006, Tang Zhengdong in 2005 and Xue Yuyang in 2003.
The 2021 NBA draft will take place at the end of July at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NBA teams will take turns selecting amateur United States college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. Enditem