Chinese basketball player Zhou Qi, nicknamed “the big devil king”, will enter the 2016 NBA draft. Zhou represents the second big-name Chinese player to come out of China since Yao Ming played for the Houston Rockets.
At 7 feet 2 inches tall, Zhou Qi (pronounced “Joe Chee”) is an imposing big man with the rare ability to impose his will on the defensive end and stretch the floor with his shooting range. He has played two seasons for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers in the Chinese Basketball Association, averaging 15.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 3.2 blocks per game, according to Real GM. Zhou Qi is represented by Alex Saratsis from Octagon Sports, who also represents a number of other NBA players. He is a raw player who is projected to go in the 1st round.
It will be interesting to see how he develops in the NBA. Though he has an avid fan base in China who are excited to support their countryman in the league, it remains to be seen if he is truly ready for the NBA at this point. The NBA is opening it’s doors to more players from abroad, particularly versatile players who can play at different positions and stretch the floor. Zhou Qi seems to want to take advantage of his opportunity now while his stock is sky high. Though his age is questionable, some scouts even suggest he may be as many as four years older than listed, he will remain an intriguing player for NBA scouts and general managers to consider as the NBA draft approaches. As they say in basketball circles, you can’t teach height. As long as teams stay hungry for tall, versatile players, Zhou Qi should get the opportunity to grow and develop into a dominant player in the NBA.