[ 2007-04-13 09:55 ]
|China's top NBA prospect Yi Jianlian walks out of the Los Angeles
International Airport,United States April 12,2007 for his league's annual
draft in June.[sina.com]|
All-star center Yao Ming has urged Yi Jianlian to "open himself" to a new
lifestyle in the United States.
The 19-year-old from Guangdong arrived in Los Angeles yesterday for a private
pre-Draft training camp, where he
will be coached by former Rockets legend Hakeem Olajuwon.
"As far as I know Yi is a little bit shy so his No 1 task in the US is to
open himself to others," Yao told Basketball Pioneer Newspaper. "You cannot
ignore the cultural difference between eastern and western countries, a lot of
people have trouble with that. Yi should, I mean, he has to, open his heart and
communicate with the people around him on and off
the court, not only teammates, but also coaches, trainers,
officials and also US media.
"Good communication will take some pressure off him, it's very helpful."
Teaming up with NBA longtime agent Dan Fegan, Yi will take part in a series
of camps held by NBA teams and head to the draft
in New York on June 28. He is expected to play the NBA summer
league afterwards, something that Yao believes will be beneficial.
"From my experience, it's very important for him to play in the summer
league. I think that will be good for him and his team, whichever team drafts
him. I was not in the summer league the year the Rockets drafted me, and I had a
very tough start."
"He needs more muscle, that's for sure," Yao told the paper. "He lacks the
upper body strength and the back to the basket moves at power forward and is a
bit long and rangy for the three.
"Despite his vast improvement, he needs to continue to develop his upper body
strength. Although he doesn't shy away from physical contact he can get
disrupted by rough post play and struggles to maintain his position in the low
post as opposing defenders tend to push him out."
In last year's draft an international player, Italian Andrea Bargnani, was
taken first pick by Toronto Raptors. This year the draft is considered much
stronger, with US college prospects Greg Oden and Kevin Durant battling for
first pick. Yi is predicted to go between 6th and 12th.
pre-Draft training camp:
on and off the