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August 28, 2009

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Home » Sports » Basketball

He's 'too tall' for comfort

A BIZARRE row over a player's height caused a Chinese basketball game to be abandoned and sparked violent scenes that left several cars destroyed in southern Guangdong Province earlier this week, local media reported yesterday.

The Dream Basketball League was set up to allow players of "shorter" stature to compete on a level playing field, with a height limit of six-feet, two-inch (1.88 meters) imposed.

Basketball players are some of the tallest athletes in sport and China's own Yao Ming, who plays for the Houston Rockets in the National Basketball Association, measures 2.26m.

However, trouble was brewing when Huizhou Qiaoxing signed Chinese Basketball Association player and three-time national "slam dunk" champion Hu Guang, even though his official CBA profile lists him as 1.95m.

Huizhou's opponents in a game scheduled for last Monday, Shenzhen Kuruite, refused to take to the court unless he was measured but league organizers refused.

Shenzhen forfeited the game but kept up its complaints the following day and the league finally agreed to take the tape to the 27-year-old forward.

"Hu bowed his shoulders and bent his neck back," Shenzhen player Wang Tiecheng told the local Daily Sunshine newspaper on Wednesday.

"The first result was 186.5cm, the second time was 187cm."

League officials, who admitted they had "limited ability and technique in measuring", nevertheless declared Hu eligible for Tuesday's "monthly final" against Zheshang Bank.

Furious Shenzhen fans disrupted the final by continually chanting: "Unfair, Too tall!" and the game, which was being broadcast live on television, was abandoned at halftime.

Other spectators, upset that the game had been stopped, then smashed up five cars with Shenzhen number plates outside Dongguan's Huangyong Arena, the Guangzhou Daily reported.


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