Next Yao Ming? | The standard

A 17-year-old Chinese basketball player has been tipped for the top and being compared to Yao Ming after using her surprising height advantage to dominate an international tournament.

Zhang Ziyu is 2.20 meters tall according to Fiba, world basketball’s governing body, but Chinese media previously reported that she was even taller at 2.28 metres.

Regardless, she used her height to help the hosts to two comfortable victories at the Under-18 Women’s Asia Cup in Shenzhen.

Against Indonesia, Zhang scored 19 points in 13 minutes in a 109-50 win on Monday.

China defeated New Zealand 90–68 the next day, with Zhang scoring 36 points and 13 rebounds.

Social media users compared her to former NBA star Yao, who was 2.29 meters tall and China’s tallest basketball player.

The WNBA requires foreign players to be at least 20 years old, but many observers are already speculating about Zhang’s possible future career in the United States.

“She has a good touch around the rim,” one user on X commented. “Most tall people just throw the ball at it and hope it goes in, but she has good form and knows what she’s doing.”