Yen at the 2008 Leisure Taiwan Day in Taipei
September 8, 1976|
Taipei County (now New Taipei City), Taiwan
|Listed height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Listed weight||163 lb (74 kg)|
|High school||Private Nanshan Senior High School (私立南山高級中學), Taipei County, Taiwan|
|College||Fu Jen Catholic University|
Yen Hsing-su (born September 8, 1978), also known as Johnny Yen, is a Taiwanese basketball coach and former basketball player, singer and actor. He is currently the head coach of the Fubon Braves in Taiwan's Super Basketball League.
Nicknamed "The Basketball Genie" (籃球精靈) for his playmaking skills, Yen was a regular of the Chinese Taipei national basketball team from 1997 to 2003. At the 2003 ABC Championship, he led the tournament in assists (4.7 per game), but retired soon afterwards to pursue a career in entertainment. In the years to follow, he led the boy band 183 Club and also starred in many popular TV dramas. He returned to professional basketball in 2007 and permanently retired in 2010. He has played professionally in both Taiwan (Chinese Basketball Alliance) and mainland China (Chinese Basketball Association).
Yen was a high school star back in Private NanShan Senior High School and turned professional in 1995 with the Tera Mars (later Kaohsiung and BCC Mars) in the Chinese Basketball Alliance of Taiwan. As starting point guard, he led the league in assists for the 1997-1998 season and was then ranked among the best and brightest next-generation backcourt players in Taiwan. He was also selected to the Chinese Taipei senior basketball team from 1997 until 2003.
Around the start of the 21st century, however, Yen Hsing-su started to suffer from a succession of knee injuries. In his last appearance on the national team, Yen led the FIBA Asian Championship in assists, signifying his ability to continuously compete at Asia's highest level of basketball if free from injury. Yet, he decided to become a full-time entertainer after completing the first season (2003–2004) of the newly founded Super Basketball League (SBL). This was presumably due to the chronic knee problem and, arguably, the success of his new entertainment career following the airing of My MVP Valentine, a basketball-themed TV drama he starred in while healing the initial knee injury in 2002.
In 2007, Yen returned to basketball when he signed with Yunnan Bulls in the Chinese Basketball Association in mainland China to play in the 2007-2008 season. As a starter, he averaged 8.1 points and 5.2 assists (3rd in the league) in 22 games. After the season, he returned to Taiwan to play for Taiwan Beer in the SBL where he won his only club championship title. In the ensuing 2009-2010 season, Yen once again joined the Chinese professional league to play for the Shanghai Sharks.
Filmography (TV Dramas)
|2002||My MVP Valentine (MVP情人)||Duan Chern-feng|
|2004||Snow Angel (雪天使)||Chyi Hsing-feng|
|The Champion (任我遨遊)||Wu Zhen Kang|
|2005||The Prince Who Turns into a Frog (王子變青蛙)||Hsieh Chuan|
|2006||Legend of Star Apple (星蘋果樂園)||Lu Tien-hao|
Notes and references
- The Taiwanese professional league that existed in the 1990s is not to be confused with the Continental Basketball Association of the United States or the Chinese Basketball Association of the People's Republic of China, which are also abbreviated as "CBA".
- Yen Hsing-su is among the few players who have played in both the Taiwanese CBA and the SBL.