|No. 22 – Fujian Sturgeons|
January 20, 1994 |
Fuzhou, Fujian, China
|Listed height||7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)|
|Listed weight||251 lb (114 kg)|
|NBA draft||2016 / Round: 2 / Pick: 57th overall|
|Selected by the Memphis Grizzlies|
Wang Zhelin (Chinese: 王哲林; pinyin: Wáng Zhélín, pronounced [uǎŋ ʈʂɤ̌lǐn], WONG juh-leen; born January 20, 1994) is a Chinese basketball player who plays for the Fujian Sturgeons in the Chinese Basketball Association. He was drafted in Round 2 (Number 57 overall) in the 2016 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies. Wang is considered one of the most promising Chinese players.
Wang Zhelin first gained recognition in March 2012 when he was selected to the Chinese national team's preliminary squad for the 2012 Summer Olympics though he did not make the final squad. In April 2012, Wang was chosen to play at the Nike Hoop Summit and he impressed many by scoring 19 points, 8 rebounds, and blocking 2 shots in an 84-75 victory against the U.S. men's junior select team. This was the best all-time performance by any Chinese player in the Nike Hoop Summit.
After impressing with Chinese youth national teams at various tournaments, Wang then signed his first professional contract with the Fujian Sturgeons of the Chinese Basketball Association on June 2012 prior to the 2012-13 season. Wang had an impressive first professional season as he averaged 20.3 points and 12.9 rebounds per game to become a key player for Fujian. His second season with Fujian saw him put up a career-high 22.8 points per game. He did not reach the same heights in successive seasons; his injury-derailed fourth season saw him produce career-low averages of 10 points, 6 rebounds and 0.4 blocks in 21.3 minutes of average action.
Despite coming into the 2016 NBA draft completely under the radar, in part due to injuries he was dealing with at the time, Wang would get selected late in the second round by the Memphis Grizzlies as the 57th pick. As compatriot Zhou Qi was selected with the 43rd pick by the Houston Rockets, the 2016 edition marked the second time two Chinese prospects were selected in an NBA draft (the first time being in 2007 with Yi Jianlian and Sun Yue). However, Wang would not immediately join the Grizzlies, thus returning with Fujian for the following season in order to develop.
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