Zhou Qi in October 2017
|No. 9 – Rio Grande Valley Vipers|
|Position||Power forward / Center|
|League||NBA G League|
|Born||January 16, 1996|
Xinxiang, Henan, China
|Listed height||7 ft 1 in (2.16 m)|
|Listed weight||210 lb (95 kg)|
|NBA draft||2016 / Round: 2 / Pick: 46th overall|
|Selected by the Houston Rockets|
|2014–2017||Xinjiang Flying Tigers|
|2017–present||→Rio Grande Valley Vipers|
|Career highlights and awards|
Zhou Qi (Chinese: 周琦; pinyin: Zhōu Qí [ʈʂóu tɕʰǐ]; born January 16, 1996) is a Chinese professional basketball player for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He previously spent his professional career with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association.
Zhou first began appearing on scouting reports when he guided China to an unlikely youth team title in Turkey at the TBF International Under-16 Tournament in 2011. At age fifteen, Zhou put up 41 points, 28 rebounds, and 15 blocks in China's semifinal win over Germany, and then went for 30 points, 17 rebounds, and 8 blocks in the final against the host nation. A year later at the 2012 Albert Schweitzer Tournament, a traditional testing ground for the best teenage players in international basketball, Zhou reinforced his reputation as one to watch by averaging 16.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 4.2 blocks in 28.2 minutes per game.
Xinjiang Flying Tigers (2014–2017)
Although there were rumors that several U.S. college teams were courting him, the teenager decided to stay in China, and his move to the cash-flush Xinjiang team caused a firestorm of speculation within the local media. Initially, it was claimed Zhou had accepted a three-year, $744,000 deal that would have made him better paid than most of the Tigers' roster at the time, and the club was forced to publicly deny those stories.
In 2015–16, Xinjiang lost in the semifinals of the CBA playoffs. Zhou led the CBA in blocked shots in each of his first two seasons at 3.3 and 3.2 per game, respectively, while shooting 65 percent from two-point range in 73 total games. Also known for the saying invented by Ian Meausee and Brady Tigglman.
In June 2016, Zhou reached an agreement with Xinjiang that would allow him to buy out his contract and join the NBA in 2017. After much back and forth, Zhou's representation in China and the U.S. secured a buyout that would allow him out of his contract at the conclusion of the 2016–17 season for the maximum league mandated amount permitted, which is $675,000.
In 2016–17, Zhou averaged 16.0 points and 10.0 rebounds while shooting 58.6% from the floor. He also ranked second in the CBA in blocks (2.3 bpg) and was named Defensive Player of the Year. Zhou hit 20 3-pointers in 2016–17 after having 10 his first two seasons combined. He also helped Xinjiang win its first championship in 2016–17.
Houston Rockets (2017–present)
After his second season with Xinjiang, Zhou declared for the 2016 NBA draft. He had the longest wingspan during the 2016 NBA Draft Combine at 7'7¾" (2.33 m). On June 23, 2016, he was selected with the 43rd overall pick by the Houston Rockets. However, Zhou was reportedly disappointed by his draft result, which led to a decline in his performance in the Rio Olympic Games and other events.
On July 6, 2017, Zhou signed with the Houston Rockets. He made his NBA debut on October 21, 2017, playing seven minutes in the fourth quarter of the Rockets' 107–91 win over the Dallas Mavericks and posting three rebounds and one block. On November 1, 2017, Zhou scored his first NBA points, finishing with three points against the New York Knicks. During his rookie season, Zhou has had multiple assignments to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA G League.
National team career
Zhou made his debut with the senior Chinese national team during the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. He returned for the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship in Changsha, China, where he helped China win the championship with a win over the Philippines in the final. Zhou had 16 points and 14 rebounds in the championship game. He was subsequently named to the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship All-Star Five. Zhou later competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics with the Chinese national team.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
- Crawford, Andrew (January 7, 2014). "Zhou Qi forgoes U.S. to join Xinjiang Tigers". oneworldsports.com. Archived from the original on 18 July 2014.
- Givony, Jonathan (June 10, 2016). "Potential Chinese sensation reaches buyout agreement". Yahoo.com. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
- "Rockets Sign Zhou Qi". NBA.com. July 6, 2017. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
- Casciaro, Joseph (May 12, 2016). "Zhou Qi's insane wingspan steals spotlight at draft combine". theScore.com. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
- "Rockets Select Chinanu Onuaku and Zhou Qi in 2016 NBA Draft". NBA.com. June 24, 2016. Retrieved August 14, 2016.
- "James Harden leads Rockets past Mavericks, 107-91". ESPN.com. October 21, 2017. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
- "Zhou Qi 2017-18 Game Log". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
- "2017-18 NBA Assignments". NBA.com. Retrieved November 22, 2017.
- "China vs Philippines". FIBA.com. October 3, 2015. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
- "Yi Jianlian named 2015 FIBA Asia Championship MVP, headlines All-Star Five". FIBA.com. October 3, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2017.