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A screenshot showing Zhang Ziyu lining up with her teammates and opponents at a basketball tournament in Jingzhou, Hubei province. Photo: Weibo

‘New Yao Ming’ is 14-year-old girl Zhang Ziyu standing 2.26m

  • Chinese teenager, whose parents were both pro basketball players, goes viral after footage of her dominating opponents
  • Social media users go wild after she scores 42 points and grabs 25 rebounds in an under-15s game

Teenage basketball sensation Zhang Ziyu has made the leap from trending on Chinese social media to going viral globally after footage of her exploits was shared online.

The 14-year-old from Shandong province towers above her opponents in the footage, standing a reported 7ft 5in (2.26m).

Zhang has earned comparisons with Chinese basketball legend Yao Ming, who is 7ft 6in (2.31m), for her on-court dominance, with Netizens backing her to follow in Yao’s footsteps.

The teen trended on Weibo on Thursday for a 42-point game in an under-15s tournament in Jingzhou, Hubei province. She also had 25 rebounds and six blocks.


China’s Global Times newspaper reported that Zhang was already 1.6m in the first grade and had passed 2.1m in grade six.

Domestic media reported that Zhang’s parents were both professional basketball players, with her mother Yu Ying a member of the Chinese national team.

Zhang is taller than both her father (2.13m) and mother (1.98m), with some social media users asking how tall she may be once she has finished growing.