Chinese basketball players took a selfie with a banner reading “Beijing Olympics 2020” on their helmets as they prepared for their first games in Beijing.
“I’m so excited, we’re going to win,” guard Chai, who was drafted by the New Jersey Nets in 2016, told ESPN.
“I want to get my name on that banner.
It means a lot.
This is something I’m going to work hard for.”
Chai’s teammates are hoping to take the lead on the court and in the community.
“This is what we’re all here for,” forward Gwen Stefani told reporters, adding that the team has a message for Chinese athletes to come together.
“We want them to have fun and come together and we’re hoping for a positive result.”
The New Jersey players are the first group of female athletes to represent the NBA in Beijing, which opened in 2020.
“The Chinese have a lot to be proud of, and I’m proud to be a part of it,” said guard Shaquille O’Neal, who signed with the Brooklyn Nets in December.
“There are a lot of great things happening in the country.
I feel like I’m part of something bigger than myself.
I’m so thankful to be here and be a Chinese athlete.
It’s a beautiful country.”
The U.S. Women’s National Basketball Association will host the 2020 Olympics in Beijing in a bid to improve its standing in the Asia-Pacific region.
In addition to Yao Ming, other players expected to be at the Games are Kelly Olynyk, Adria Richards, Megan Rapinoe, Becky Hammon, Carli Lloyd, Kaylyn Kyle and Hope Solo.