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MANILA, Philippines, Sept. 11, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — At the FIBA Basketball World Cup final 2023, two village basketball teams from rural China were showcased to the world. Players from two village basketball teams in Taipan, a remote village in Guizhou province, were invited to the final as special guests of honor by Yili, the Chinese dairy brand and a key sponsor of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup. The two teams were half-time performers at the final, which took place between Germany and Serbia on September 10 in Manila, showcasing their hoop skills to a global audience.
In 2022, videos of the village teams went viral on social media, leading netizens to dub the tournament the “Village Basketball Association.” It is said that even Chinese basketball legend Yao Ming is a fan.
From rural Guizhou to the streets of Beijing, “Village BA” has become known to basketball fans far and wide, impressed by their passion for the game. Yili, as sports lovers, has not only been moved by the courageous spirit of the rural basketball players but also by the pure love of the sport among the villagers in Guizhou. Regardless of age, the villagers have made basketball a key part of their lives.
Players from all walks of life in the village have come together to play in the Village BA, including a farmer, a clerk, a cowherder, and a plumber. What is behind the special story of the Village BA? Watch the short film below to find out: