Norcalnick: Hey everybody! Max Zhang made the Olympic team! Landry Field's own personal boogieman will be back on TV! To talk a little more about Max we turn to CGB's Chinese basketball correspondent LeonPowe:
LeonPowe: At 7'4" inches, Max Zhang Zhaoxu was the tallest player ever to suit up for the Cal's Men's basketball team. A Chinese center at Cal? You better believe he was a crowd favorite. With a giant's wingspan and a playful attitude, Max was a fringe contributor for the Cal basketball team as a sophomore (after getting very little playing time his freshman year)
However, it was one or two performances like this Stanfurd (13 points) game (and another against Oregon where he totaled 8 points in 5 minutes and turned the game around for the Bears ) which showed, at least to me, that Max could've been a contributor and maybe even a Pac-10 level starter as he continued through his Cal career.
Unfortunately, I think for all parties involved, during his summer visit home to China, he signed a professional contract with the Shanghai Sharks in order to play for Yao Ming's CBA team. I say unfortunate, not only as a Cal fan, but I think Max and China could've benefited greatly from two more years of a Pac-10 level strength program, Monty's coaching and battling against Derrick Williams and other NBA level big-men in the Pac-10. He's played decently here in Shanghai, but he's still too weak and sometimes lacks confidence in his offense.
So, we're only left with this
Max will be the first or second center off the bench for the Chinese National Team in London.
NorcalNick: I would have loved to see Max continue on at Berkeley for my own selfish reasons - against the right team (haha furd) he was as fun a player as you'll ever see. But Max made the decision that he probably had to make if he wanted to play in the Olympics. And let's be realistic - the Olympics are almost certainly the highest level he'll ever get to compete at.
So congrats Max for realizing your dream, and good luck in London!