Then came Wang Zhizhi
in 1999, Yao Ming in 2002 and Xue Yuyang in 2003.
The Mavericks, who made Wang Zhizhi
the first Chinese player in an NBA game in 2001, will leave behind Little Cows and be the Lone Ranger Heroes (DuXingXia) in all Chinese-speaking parts of the world.
Bhamara, a 19-year-old center from a small Punjab village, went 52nd overall to the Dallas Mavericks, the same NBA club that in 2001 made Wang Zhizhi
the first Chinese player in an NBA game.
Wang Shipeng added 14, Wang Zhizhi
and Yi Jianlian, 13 and 12, in that order, while Zhu Fangyu 10 points for China, which was in control most of the game.
Former Dallas Maverick Wang Zhizhi
, 32, remains a force with his deadly outside shooting and veteran savvy, while a group of youngsters will be called on for London.
To counter Iran's size, China's American coach Bob Donewald will use two youthful seven-footers (2.12 meter) in Zhang Zhaoxu and Su Wei, while Washington Wizard power forward Yi Jianlian and former Dallas Maverick Wang Zhizhi
will be tasked with scoring for the team.
The team, who produced China's first NBA player, Wang Zhizhi
, had developed Chinese talent without recruiting foreign players before, and could do so again, Xu added.
But we shouldn't take too much from the outcome against a Chinese team that featured Yao, New Jersey Nets forward Yi Jianlian and former NBA player Wang Zhizhi
, and not much else.
Many Chinese have made it to America's NBA, amongst them Yao Ming of Houston Rockets who stands 7ft 5in tall, another seven footer, Wang Zhizhi
of the Los Angeles Clippers, Mengke Bateers from San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks' Yi Jianlian.
When the doors flung open, Panagiotis Giannakis stepped out along with veteran Wang Zhizhi
and headed for the post-game press conference.
American coach Bob Donewald -- who took charge of China before the FIBA World Championship in Turkey last summer where they lost in the second round to Lithuania -- has put his hopes once again on the shoulders of the Washington Wizards' forward Yi Jianlian, and a collection of experienced and young skilled players such as Wang Zhizhi
, Liu Wei, Zhu Fangyu and Sun Yue.