7-foot-3 Chinese women's basketball player goes viral after dominating opponents: 'WNBA’s next Yao Ming'


The FIBA Under-18 Women’s Asia Cup is underway, and one player from China has gone viral for literally standing out above the rest of her competition. 

Zhang Ziyu, the 17-year-old center for China, is creating buzz at her first international tournament this week due to her 7-foot-3 stature. 

Zhang came off the bench for China, but she was extremely efficient, going a perfect 9-for-9 for 19 points in just 13 minutes of play. She also collected seven rebounds, as China ended up dominating Indonesia, 109-50. 

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Zhang Ziyu of China drives to the basket during the FIBA U18 Women’s Asia Cup 2024 match between China and Indonesia on June 24, 2024, in Shenzhen, China. (Fred Lee/Getty Images)

Zhang did even better on Tuesday during the team’s 90-68 win over New Zealand, dropping 36 points on 80% shooting. She had a double-double and 13 rebounds. 

Basketball fans couldn’t believe what they were seeing from Zhang when FIBA posted her highlights from the game against Indonesia on X.  

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Zhang’s dominance looked easy, as you’d expect considering her height advantage. But commentors were impressed with the way she could shoot the basketball, too. 

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Zhang Ziyu of China in action during the FIBA U18 Women’s Asia Cup 2024 match between New Zealand and China on June 25, 2024, in Shenzhen, China. (Fred Lee/Getty Images)

And considering she’s still just a teenager, there were already talks about her joining the WNBA. 

“Zhang Ziyu, aka WNBA’s next Yao Ming,” one commentor wrote under FIBA’s highlights video, alluding to China’s NBA Hall of Famer whose 7-foot-6 frame led to success in the States. 

Zhang may not have the agility of other WNBA players, but her height and solid shooting skills can make up for that. 

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Zhang Ziyu of China in action during the FIBA U18 Women’s Asia Cup 2024 match between New Zealand and China on June 25, 2024, in Shenzhen, China. (Fred Lee/Getty Images)

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Zhang has some ways to go, but she’s turning heads on the international stage. 

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