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Candace Parker to play for Guangdong in WCBA playoffs

BEIJING, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Basketball star Candace Parker will play for Guangdong in 2015-2016 Chinese Women's Basketball Association (WCBA) playoffs, the club announced on Saturday.

Parker will replace Belarussian center Yelena Leuchanka, who averaged 20.8 points and 13.1 rebounds in 25 games this season.

"Yelena will compete in EuroBasket qualifications for her country, so we've got to find another foreign player," said Wang Jue, the club's general manager.

Parker rose to fame with the slam dunk title at McDonald's All-American Game in 2004, becoming the first female to win the event and beating the likes of Josh Smith and J. R. Smith.

After finishing her college career, Parker was selected as the first pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft by the Los Angeles Sparks. She scored 34 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists in her debut game against the Phoenix Mercury. In that year, she became the first WNBA player to win both the Rookie of the Year and the Most Valuable Player awards in the same season.

Parker also won two gold medals in 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.

"Hoping that she can be of much help on our way ahead," commented Wang. According to him, the final four is the team's minimum target, before fighting for more glory.

Parker arrived in China on Saturday. After dealing with the jet leg, she will attend the team's practice session within two days.

Guangdong will meet Shenyang Army in the first round of WCBA playoffs, which will kick off on February 2.

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