Latest News:  

English>>China Society

Former basketball star selling medals to help friend

By Zheng Jinran  (China Daily)

09:59, March 07, 2013

A former captain of China's national basketball team has tried to sell his medals to raise funds for an ailing friend but has failed to find a buyer for the memorabilia.

"These medals are the most valuable items I possess. Though I want to keep them as souvenirs of my past glory, the desire to aid my friend is much stronger," said Huang Pinjie, who lives in Beijing and was captain of the national basketball team for eight years from 1971.

Three gold medals from the Asian Cup and one from the Asian Games were listed for sale online through Huang's micro blog one month ago. The gold medal from the Asian Games in 1975 was the first ever victory for a Chinese national basketball team participating in an international competition.

"It's worth selling these medals if they can save my friend," the 66 year old said, adding that many friends tried to persuade him not to part with the memorabilia.

Huang's friend in need is 68-year-old Yao Shiren from Nanjing, Jiangsu province, a big fan of Chinese basketball who in the early 1970s quit his stable job to become a freelance sports reporter.

"He's one of the few people that praised our accomplishments at that time," Huang said, adding they did not receive as much attention as the current national team does, despite their success. Yao's reports were the source of much of their support.

But Yao was only able to write those reports because he quit a stable job that would have provided him with a pension. Yao and his wife now receive only 900 yuan ($145) a month, far from enough to cover basic living and medical expenses, especially since last October when Yao was diagnosed with hemiplegic paralysis.

"I cannot get money from my children because they can barely afford their own lives," Yao said.

He didn't tell his friends because they had not contacted him for more than seven years. But when Huang heard Yao's story in February, he started to collect money to financially support his friend, but his attempt to sell his medals has been unsuccessful.

"I have to drop my plan (to sell the medals)," he said on Wednesday.

But many of Huang's fans have pledged to donate money to the former reporter after hearing his story. Jiang Xinxin, an alumnus of Huaqiao University in Quanzhou, Fujian province, is one donor.

"My friends are willing to help Yao by donating money," said the 29 year old, a former player in the university basketball team that Huang coached in 2007.

"The amount of the donation will be decided after we speak to Yao," Jiang said.

The former champion player helped the team improve their game, teaching them useful techniques based on his rich experience.

"He's like a buddy to us and would talk to us about life problems sometimes," Jiang said.

"It's Huang, the friend I made while working, who has given me the strongest support," Yao said. "I never regret my decision to report on basketball events."

We Recommend:

Bikini-clad models sparked a debate on racism

Young candidates for Acting Department of BFA

BFA releases list of re-examination

Alarming water pollution in China

Chilly run gets blood pumping

Photo story:Arriving in Beijing

China's 'leftover women' arouses debate in West

Top 10 fascinating natural phenomena in the world

Street propaganda on environmental protection

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:HuangJin、Wang Jinxue)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Navel landing ships perform military tasks

  2. Newly-recruited female soldiers in training

  3. 83rd Geneva Int'l Motor Show opens

  4. A little man’s struggle for job

  5. Art schools exams in Chinese style

  6. Foxes seek food from oil workers in NE China

  7. Chinese and overseas arts serve and return

  8. Old Shanghai posters in the Minguo period

  9. U.S. enjoys clean energy trade surplus with China

  10. Energy trade surplus for US

Most Popular


  1. Books for youngsters' the fastest-growing genre
  2. Life of the never-touch-a-pan generation
  3. Chinese films ought to tell Chinese stories
  4. Lei Feng spirit never out of date
  5. Call to relax adoption criteria
  6. China has its own Golden Raspberry Awards
  7. Chinese tourists reflect nation's character
  8. Spoiled brats spring from pampering parents
  9. A smile can succeed where a scowl fails
  10. Reducing income inequality an urgent task

What’s happening in China

Donations for sick child star's care arouse mixed reaction

  1. Beijing female prison eradicates illiteracy
  2. Couples rush to divorce as house sales tax looms
  3. Veterans can't be forgotten: delegates
  4. Sex-tape officials remain under investigation
  5. Students recommend ren as message to the world