Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / Lifestyle / People

Girls holding court

By Xing Wen | China Daily | Updated: 2021-12-29 08:21
Share - WeChat
Guo Xiaoni (left) and her teammates of the High School Affiliated to Xi'an Jiaotong University team work their way up the Chinese High School Basketball League. CHINA DAILY

Squeaking sneakers, the thudding sound of a bouncing basketball and the shouting of coaches echo through the hall as players strain every sinew to get the ball through the hoop.

The action is frenzied and hectic. No quarter given. High school five-on-five basketball matches are no place for the fainthearted.

And they cannot be predicted. The uncertainty adds to the appeal. Therefore, when director Zeng Le decided to document how female players from the High School Affiliated to Xi'an Jiaotong University climbed up the 2020-2021 Chinese High School Basketball League, he prepared himself for the team's possible elimination.

"What matters in stories about youth sports is the process rather than the result," says Zeng.

He planned to follow the team's training and matches, then produce a documentary based on the players' experience in pursuit of their goal-a shot at the title.

Zeng had to be prepared for one of two possible outcomes-defeat or victory, and the production unit would formulate different strategies in advance.

But then, as if following a preordained script, the team roared into the finals and claimed the championship with a 91-81 victory over the No 1 Middle School of Linyi, Shandong province, on May 20, 2021.

But for the fact that it actually happened, it could almost be the script for a Hollywood teen sports movie. The viewers will be hard-pressed to keep their emotions in check as they watch the six-episode documentary, Hoop Girls, which spans their title-winning year.

The documentary aired on the video streaming platform Youku this month. Chinese basketball player Yang Shuyu, a member of China's women's 3x3 basketball team, which sprang their own surprise by winning bronze at the Tokyo Olympic Games this year, promoted the documentary in a short video. She says that as the country's women's basketball team draws ever-greater attention, people may be curious about how they developed into professional female basketball players. She adds that viewers could learn a thing or two about the growth of female basketball players from the documentary.

It's rare to see a documentary that follows a high school girls' basketball team for a whole year in China. This documentary shows their passion for the sport along with the ups and downs they encounter throughout the tournament.

Guo Xiaoni, a guard for the High School Affiliated to Xi'an Jiaotong University team, says in the documentary that the moment that she enjoys most on court is shooting a three-pointer.

"It feels awesome," she says. "After a shot, I just feel that the hours of practice didn't go to waste."

1 2 Next   >>|
Most Popular
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349