Mou Zuoyun

His name might as well be Zelig. Nearly every time China has opened up to the world over the past century, Mou Zuoyun has been there, nudging the door open even further with the only tool he possesses: basketball. Born in 1913 near Tianjin, Mou developed his love of the game — and his fascination with the West — playing on courts run by American missionaries. In 1936, the agile 1.82-m youngster joined China's first full delegation to the Olympic Games, marching into the Berlin stadium under the gaze of Adolf Hitler. Mou then married into sports royalty — his father-in-law...

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