Second Chinese star will join the WNBA this season
China will send two players to the WNBA this season, as Beijing Shougang and the Chinese Basketball Association have agreed to release Shao Ting to join the Minnesota Lynx this year. She will join the team later this month, according to China Daily.
Shao joins Han Xu, who was drafted by the New York Liberty in the second round of this month’s draft. Although there were doubts before the draft, both have now indicated that they will be released to play in the WNBA in this season.
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Shao signed a one-year contract with the Lynx and completed transfer paperwork, but she has been in training camp with the team before. In 2017, she joined the organization for the pre-season but was eventually cut. She returned to play for Beijing Shougang, with whom she has won two WCBA titles. The team finished in the semifinals this past season.
The 6’1 forward also has experience with one of her future teammates. Lynx center Sylvia Fowles has spent time playing alongside Shao for Beijing Shougang.
The teammates were the top two scorers for their WCBA team in 2016-17, with Shao averaging 12.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game to finish as the second-leading scorer. The duo led the team to their second straight title that year.
Shao has been the captain of the Chinese national team, where she often serves as an interpreter for her teammates. She led them to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she averaged 9.6 points and 2.6 rebounds per game over five games.
Unlike many Chinese basketball stars, she has also pursued her studies at the Chinese Normal University. She has been pursuing a doctoral degree in education while succeeding at the various levels of basketball in China. She has won multiple championships in the Chinese University Basketball Association, the Chinese University Basketball Super League and the WCBA.
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