This teenager, a highly skilled and much coveted performer who has played professionally, measures 7’2” in height, but weighs just two hundred nine pounds. His reed-like appearance and seeming lack of bulk and strength has not stopped him from excelling in a Chinese professional basketball league.
But scouts for American universities and for teams in the National Basketball Association (NBA) worry that he lacks the ruggedness and the durability to function successfully in college basketball or, more importantly, in professional basketball as a NBA player.
That said, scouts marvel at his impressive height and his athleticism that enables him to perform like a guard, something that is extremely rare for players his size.
The truth is that when Zhou Qi finally “brings his game” to the United States and begins performing at the college level, professional scouts will be in attendance at most games. 7’2” players with guard-like skills and athleticism are rare and very hard to find and recruit.
Qi, who played in China in 2014, is already being cited for the many positives in his game. He utilizes excellent timing to leap with a shooter and block his shot without drawing a foul. Additionally, he is known to have excellent hands and superb athleticism that, when combined with his long arms, makes it extremely difficult for the player he guards to score points, especially when “in the paint”
Zhou Qi is also a surprisingly capable offensive player. He uses good footwork and solid post-up moves to score easy buckets “in the paint.” Zhou Qi is also an accurate shooter with an effective turnaround jump shot, an asset not readily found in performers his size.
The young Center, who can also play at the Power Forward position, is also able to “knock down shots” from three-point range. For all the reasons mentioned, this still-growing player has scouts excited because they know he can be a difference-maker. But he is not NBA-eligible this year.
As a result, Zhou Qi can continue to work on his game and improve areas in which he needs to get better. His defense is still spotty, probably because he lacks the necessary strength and bulk to keep from being muscled off his position.
A better diet and time in the gym will help this future superstar to get bigger and stronger. And when that happens, scouts will be clamoring to draft him and get his signature on a costly player contract.
By every measure, Zhou Qi seems destined to make an impact as a player in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Courtesy of FIBA