Max Zhang Takes His Talents To ShanghaiPosted by nvr1983 on October 30th, 2010
Although October would usually be preposterously early for a player to leave school to turn pro we have our first case of the year with Max Zhang, a junior center at California, who has decided to turn pro after accepting an offer from the Shanghai Sharks (aka Yao Ming‘s team) of the Chinese Basketball Association. The 7’2″ center, the tallest player in Cal history, only produced modest numbers (3.1 points and 2.4 rebounds per game) last year, but was expected to play an increased role as his game matured after another summer training with the Chinese national team.
Zhang was expected to miss some of the Bears’ early-season action while he played for the Chinese national team in the Asian Games in November. With a more developed game Zhang could have provided Mike Montgomery with some quality minutes in the Pac-10 that has relatively few quality big men (even by today’s standards). Instead, those minutes will likely go to Bak Bak, Richard Solomon, or Robert Thurman, all of whom have even less experience at the college level than Zhang. Still despite all of his potential size, Zhang will be most remembered by Cal fans as somewhat of a novelty item (see below) who helped galvanize the crowd during his sparse minutes on the floor.