The NBA Goes Courtin'

A Chinese seven-footer has American basketball scouts drooling. There's just one big problem

NBA scouts have long realized that there's one thing you can't teach even the most skilled basketball player--height. In search of verticality, the long arm of U.S. basketball recruiting has stretched out in the past two decades from Australia (the Phoenix Suns' 7-ft. 2-in. Luc Longley) to Yugoslavia (the Sacramento Kings' 7-ft. 1-in. Vlade Divac) and now, gingerly, to China. Wang Zhizhi--who shoots like a dream and dribbles pretty nimbly--has the one thing that NBA scouts know even four years of NCAA ball could never give him--7 ft. 1 in. Says Dale Brown, who tried unsuccessfully to lure him to Louisiana...

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