Chris Tang is now at UC Riverside


 UCR basketball coach Dennis Cutts, center, stands with his four international recruits, from left, Cheick Thiero, Mali, Chris Tang, China, Robert Boezeman, Netherlands, and Alexander Larsson, Sweden, on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014.

Chris Tang is one of China’s brightest young players and potentially an Olympian. Some Internet pundits have already compared him to Jeremy Lin.

Robert Boezeman’s family in the Netherlands is heavily involved in the sport of basketball, but after watching NBA and college games on television, he knew he wanted to play in the U.S.

It’s an interesting mix of story lines and backgrounds, but it’s not a coincidence that this collection of players found its way to UC Riverside.

The group is the first of what Highlanders coach Dennis Cutts hopes is the program’s new globetrotting approach to successful recruiting.

After floundering for more than a decade in the Big West and typically failing to woo top local players, UCR is now focused on recruiting internationally. It’s not a new strategy – several programs scan teams in Europe or club teams with international ties for potential players – but it is new philosophy for UCR.

“We felt we had to find a unique way to attract talent,” Cutts said. “One of the things when I got (the job) was that we were going to explore that.”

Assistant coach Stephen Sauers has spearheaded the international search. His coaching connections have proven invaluable, Cutts said, including what has become a pipeline of sorts with the Canarias Basketball Academy in the Canary Islands off Spain.

The academy, according to its Web site, strives to develop the best basketball players in the world, at all levels.

Both Boezeman and Tang played at the CBA.

“My dream since I was 12 years old was to play college Division I,” said Boezeman, who played in the European championships with the Netherlands Under-16 and Under-18 national teams before going to the CBA. The 6-foot-7 forward signed last fall to come to UCR after being heavily recruited by Sauers.

Tang signed in the spring. The 6-4 combo guard from Jiangsu, China, had already made a name for himself in the U.S. after earning all-state honors as a freshman and sophomore at Hampton Roads Academy in Virginia and then playing at the prestigious Oak Hill Academy.

He averaged nearly 16 points per game for the CBA U-18 team, which reached Spain’s 2014 National Youth Championships, and proved a top 3-point threat, hitting 44 percent of his shots. Cutts said ACC and Big East schools had shown an interest in Tang.

The pressure to perform is nothing new for Tang, who has developed a following in China, but wasn’t sure what to make of the Lin comparisons. “I wish they would call me Dwyane Wade,” Tang told Grantland in a 2012 story. “I want to play like Wade. An athletic guard who gets to the rim.”

On a UC Riverside campus that is 35 percent Asian or Asian-American, Tang said he’s hoping to draw some attention for the team and students.

“It will be exciting to play in front of the Asian community,” he said. “They will be supporting me.”

via BASKETBALL: UCR going Globetrotting – Press Enterprise.

UC Riverside basketball player Chris Tang delayed in China

UC Riverside basketball players have returned to campus for summer school and workouts, but guard Chris Tang won’t arrive until next month, Coach Dennis Cutts said.

The highly touted guard out of Lianyungang, Jiangsu, China, was expected for the summer but technical problems caused a global backlog of visa applications, causing Tang to be delayed and miss the cutoff date for summer school. Alexander Larsson, a 6-9 player from Sodertalje, Sweden, was delayed for several days, but finally arrived. UCR’s third international player, Robert Boezeman, a 6-7 forward from the Netherlands, also is in summer school, Cutts said.

Tang, who is in China, is expected on campus when the team meets on Sept. 15.

Players are in summer school sessions, but only allowed two hours per week of on-court time. They’re also allowed to lift weights. Cutts said he doesn’t expect Tang’s absence to impact his development with his new team.

“There’s a little bit of transitioning for (the new players), but he’s been over here for three years,” Cutts said.

Tang played for three years in the United States, most recently at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. He also has international experience, playing for the Under-18 team of the Canarias Basketball Academy where he averaged 15.5 points and shot 44 percent from 3-point range.

via AREA COLLEGES: UCR basketball player delayed in China – Press Enterprise.

Guard Chris Tang commits to NCAA D1 U.C. Riverside

 The Canarias Basketball Academy is pleased to announce that Chris Tang, originally from Lianyungang City, China, verbally committed to the UC Riverside Highlanders from the strong Big West Conference!


Coach Rob Orellena is very familiar with the conference, having been an assistant at both UC Irvine and Cal Sate Fullerton. “Riverside is getting one the biggest steals in the late signing period in Chris, a 6-4 combo guard who is known for his deep range 3- point shooting and play making. I am very excited for Chris and his family with the great news”.

With this announcement, the Canarias Basketball Academy continues to be the most powerful academy in the world producing Division 1 basketball players.

Chris recently led CBA’s U-18 team to a berth in Spain’s 2014 National Youth Championships in May, averaging a team high 15.5ppg and shooting 44% from behind the 3-point arc. Last year, Chris played his junior season in the United States, playing for the prestigious Oak Hill Academy that finished 33-6 on the season and ended the year ranked 18th in the country.


Moreover, Chris played his freshmen and sophomore season in the States at Hampton Roads where he earned 1st All State honors both seasons, averaging 20.2ppg as a sophomore and 17.8ppg as a freshmen.

These are Chris Tang’s thoughts on the exciting news:  “My goal is to help UCR basketball win a Big West Championship, earn my college degree, and one day represent the China Men’s National Team and participate in the Olympic Games”.

Here you are Chris Tang’s highlights during our last CBA USA TOUR in 2014:



High schooler Chris Tang adjusting to life at Oak Hill Academy

Last year, Chris Tang and the bench were distant associates. But after transferring from Hampton Roads Academy to Oak Hill Academy, the two have become close friends.

Tang, a 6-foot-3 junior, transferred schools to better his chances of playing college basketball. After a few months on a team fully equipped with all-stars, Tang is adjusting to becoming a second-string player.

“The competition is a lot better. We play pretty hard against each other in and out of practice,” said Tang.

Oak Hill coach Steve Smith, who is in his 28th season, said Tang was one of the team’s best perimeter shooters, but he still isn’t ready to start.

“At Hampton Roads he was a starter. He’s got to fit into the role so he’s adjusting,” said Smith. “He’s a good shooter off the bounce and off the catch and he’s going to keep getting stronger in the weight room.”

Tang scored a season-high 12 points earlier this week as Oak Hill beat Kamehamea of Hawaii 78-37 in the ‘Iolani Prep Classic in Hawaii. Oak Hill is 17-1 going into Friday night’s semifinals.

Originally from China, Tang said he misses his friends and host family in Newport News, but transferring to Oak Hill will make him a better player.

“They do more defensive drills and shooting drills, just more running of plays,” Tang said of Oak Hill.

Smith said Tang “needs to work on defensively guarding the ball and keeping guys in front of him.”

The change in coaching styles and high competition between Tang and his teammates has affected his playing.

“I think sometimes he’s stressing a bit. He thinks when he plays, and he needs to play freely,” said Smith. “I think sometimes he’s thinking, ‘Is coach going to take me out,’ because all our guys can play, and they know if one’s not doing well I’ll put in another one.”

Oak Hill is known for shipping its players to some of the best Division I basketball schools. Tang’s teammate, Troy Williams, committed to Indiana. Smith said with his continued hard work, Tang’s chances for playing college basketball will increase.

With a rigorous schedule between schoolwork and basketball, Tang said he has made new friends with his teammates. And unsurprisingly, when they aren’t in practice or in class, the team is playing basketball or watching it together on TV.

“My favorite (team) is the (Houston) Rockets. I like Jeremy Lin,” Tang said.

In the mean time Tang continues to adjust to living in the dorms and preparing for college, Smith said Tang keeps and optimistic attitude for the future.

“He doesn’t talk a lot but when he does he’s always telling me, ‘Coach I like it here, thank you for giving me the opportunity, and I’m getting better.”

via Tang makes friends with the bench to advance on the court – Daily Press.

The Next Jeremy Lin? Oak Hill Academy’s Chris Tang and the pressures of being the Great Yellow Hope

posted by KelvinZ

Chris Zihao Tang’s basketball story starts, of course, with Yao Ming. As a kid growing up in Jiangsu, a province on the eastern coast of China, just northwest of Shanghai, Tang obsessed over Yao and the Rockets, and, like all inspired young kids, went out to the local playgrounds to mimic the big man’s moves. Tang was always faster, taller, and more athletic than everyone else on the court, one of those prodigies who just pick up the game, almost through evolutionary directive. By the time he turned 8 years old, Chris Tang never went anywhere without a basketball, a habit that seemed curious to his parents, who at first asked their son to pursue other interests. He did not. “I watched basketball every day like it was my job,” Tang explained. “When I got out of school, I’d go straight to watching the Rockets on the Internet. My dad used to get mad at me because I would skip meals sometimes to watch the fourth quarter of a game, but I couldn’t stop. It was crazy just how much I loved to watch those guys play.”

Tang’s parents eventually grew to understand that their son had caught the basketball mania that infected so much of China in the early aughts. By the time he reached middle school, Chris had gotten good enough to be faced with a difficult choice — he could enter the labyrinthine Chinese national athletics program or he could try to find an alternate path to professional basketball. The choice rested on his parents’ desire for their child to live a life balanced between basketball and academics. The local club teams had already come around inquiring about Chris, meaning he had the choice to essentially turn professional at the age of 13…

via Oak Hill Academy's Chris Tang and the pressures of being the Great Yellow Hope – Grantland.

Basketball phenom Chris Tang transfers to OakHill HS

Another product of Boo Williams‘ program, rising junior guard Chris Tang of Hampton Roads Academy, is Oak Hill-bound, according to his host family in Williamsburg. Tang hails from China and as a sophomore earned first-team Division II all-state honors from the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association.

Oak Hill has been attended by NBA stars Kevin Durant, Brandon Jennings, Carmelo Anthony, Michael Beasley, Rajon Rondo, Brandon Jennings, among others.