College sensation says she has much to learn after making WCBA debut
Fang Min, this year”s top pick in the Women’s Chinese Basketball Association (WCBA) draft, reckons she faces a steep learning curve as she adapts to life in the professional ranks.
“I need to improve my physical condition and experience,” said Fang after finishing with 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for Henan in her WCBA debut last week, against Shanxi in Chengdu.
A star in the China University Basketball Association (CUBA) league, Fang shot to prominence when she scored a jaw-dropping 72 points for Central South University in May last year, refreshing the CUBA’s single-game scoring record.
That sensational form saw Fang selected by Henan as the overall top pick in the WCBA’s 2020 draft.
Judging by her stats, one would expect Fang to enjoy a relatively seamless transition from the college game to the professional league. However, last week’s debut has made the youngster realize that she needs to work on her conditioning.
“I feel that the physicality in both leagues is not at the same level. The opponents in the pro league play tough on both ends. As for game experience, I’m not at the same level as teammates or opponents,” she said.
“I’m sure that I can make many layups on the university basketball court, but here, when opponents put huge pressure on me, my chances of doing that are much lower.”
Shanxi captain Wu Tongtong was pleased to witness her former teammate’s progress as both represented Changsha Changjun High School in Hunan province on the court.
“I feel pretty happy for her. She played great today, and we didn’t restrain her quite well. Witnessing her performance today, I feel that she has a bright future,” Wu said.
Fang displayed impressive speed and sharpness on the offensive end in her WCBA debut. However, her lack of experience was in evidence when she was called for two offensive fouls in a row during a frantic period in the third quarter.
“I have to improve my control of the game in crunch time,” Fang said. “It takes time, and I cannot worry about it too much. For every game, I have to prepare well beforehand and draw some experience after it to move forward, step by step.”
Henan coach Li Jianxin, however, heaped praised on the new recruit, although admitted she probably found the pace tough.
“She had a remarkable performance coming off the bench but failed to convert some layups due to a physical slump,” said Li, the former head coach of China’s women’s junior national team.
“She still needs to go through some tests game after game. Hopefully, she can progress deep into the season.
“Speed is her advantage. We hope she can improve her vision on the court and shooting ability.”
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