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Zhao Baiqing: Witnessing Men’s Basketball Team of PKU winning CUBA

JUN . 20 2017
Peking University, June 20, 2017: Although faced with immense stress from the coming final exams, Zhao Baqing still can’t help savoring the happiness of victory. He has just returned from the triumphant celebration organized by Peking University, and the recent CUBA (China University Basketball Association) left him just so much to say.

As a player in PKU Men’s Basketball Team, Zhao Baiqing took part in lifting the Golden Backboard symbolizing the championship of this year’s CUBA. The team is made up of two coaches including the chief coach and the assistant coach, and 15 team members out of which 12 go on the basketball court in each competition. In the whole 2017 season, they made it from grass-root competition to Northeast, from Nationals to Finals.
Actually, they are never specially trained for the matches. Baiqing explains that their basketball team practices from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on a daily basis. “I think it shows PKU’s liberal tradition.” He says, “The two hours’ training is not tiring, and it doesn’t disrupt your study. If you have classes or something else to do at that time, you can simply skip the training. The rules are very flexible.”

Beside the flexibility, unity also permeates in this young group. “One important reason for me to choose PKU is that PKU basketball team is closely bonded according to my seniors.” Everyone shares the ambition of winning CUBA. Players coordinate with each other to the best extent, and coaches arrange a comprehensive plan for players to train their physical quality, strength, and professional skills. Speaking of the chief coach, Baiqing laughs, “Well, we quite like him, and we call him ‘peace coach’ privately. He is strict with players on the court but personally he is easy-going.”
However, before the flooding praise and honor, the way to success is never easy. The team is actually under much pressure during the season. In last year’s CUBA, when Guo Kai and Wang Zeqi, two leading players, were still on the team, the line-up was so strong that almost everyone took it for granted that PKU was sure to win the game. However, due to some mistakes, the team didn’t make it into nationals, leaving great pressure on this year’s team. “PKU enrolls the best basketball players among students all over the country. And our team members were all rightly down after last year’s mistakes and eager for a victory.” Baiqing adds, “Last year, four out of five main players retired. So right now the team is composed of fresh powers in majority.”
The toughest game is the one against Huaqiao University, Zhao Baiqing remarks. One member of their team named Zhang Honglin plays expertly. It happened that PKU’s whole team were not themselves that day. As a result, they were 15 points behind after half the match. In a match between two strong teams, it is not easy to convert a situation like this. But PKU players managed to do it with their high physical quality and their indomitable spirit. They were behind for 35 minutes, and they finally edged out the rival.

Zhao Baiqing’s encounter with basketball was a coincidence at the very beginning. “I was tall even in my childhood, and I was so heavy that my parents encouraged me to take part in basketball.” At first it was just a hobby, but gradually he became more and more interested in it. When he was in Tsinghua University High School, the competition was extremely fierce. Every student practiced intensively, and he had to focus on improving himself under such peer pressure. Apart from the training, the coaches were very experienced, offering him essential help and guidance. His story with basketball was at first unintended, but after all these years of intense practice and dedicated matches, basketball has become part of his life.
Baiqing’s biggest worry now is his final exams. Studying at PKU Law School, there are so many materials to remember. “And what it requires is not machinery remembering. You have to understand the meaning and connotations of these materials.” But still, he enjoys his campus life. He often goes out to dine with his roommates. Thanks to him, one roommate sharing the bunk bed with him has to sleep in the lengthened bed. Wherever he goes to attend competitions, he always brings some local food for his roommates: “I will not confine myself with the title of a basketball player. I am, after all, a college student of Peking University who has schoolwork to do and friendship to cherish, just like everybody else here.”

Reported by: Wang Xi
Edited by: Yan Shengnan