Meet Zhang Ziyu, A 7’5 17-Year-Old Female Chinese Basketball Star Who Is Compared to NBA Legend Yao Ming

Zhang Ziyu is currently dominating the FIBA U18 Women's Asia Cup 2024 campaign and is in the limelight for her extraordinary height.

Published on Jun 25, 2024  |  04:31 PM IST |  653.7K
Zhang Ziyu (Pic via Getty)
Zhang Ziyu (Pic via Getty)

Zhang Ziyu, a Chinese college basketball player, is again in the limelight at the ongoing FIBA U18 Women's Asia Cup 2024 campaign. The 17-year-old player is making her first appearance in the game and has already been hailed for her performance. 

Ziyu is often compared with the NBA legend Yao Ming because of her extraordinary height. Needless to say, fans are hence curious to learn more about her.

Who is Zhang Ziyu and why is she compared to NBA legend Yao Ming?

Zhang Ziyu is a college basketball player, who hails from Shandong Province, China. She gets her ‘tall’ genes from her parents as both are also tall. Her father is 2.13 meters tall and her mother is 1.98 meters tall. However, both of them are still shorter than Ziyu.

It is important to note that as per the Times report, when Ziyu was in her first grade, she was already 5’3 tall and by the time, she reached in sixth grade, she was 6’10. Besides, her parents also share the same passion for basketball as Ziyu, with her mother being a senior international.

Currently, she is the tallest to ever play in any FIBA U18 Women's Asia Cup. Ziyu first came into the limelight in the 2021 Chinese National Championship Finals where she ended with 42 points, 25 rebounds, and six blocks. She was the tallest among other players and hence, she quickly became the talk of the town.


The young up-and-coming player was also compared to Yao Ming for her height, although Ming is reportedly an inch taller than her. Another interesting fact is both Ziyu and Ming hail from China.

Also Read: ‘I Feel Like I’m Getting Hammered’: Caitlin Clark Reveals Level of Difficulty From College Basketball to WNBA

A closer look at Yao Ming with whom Zhang Ziyu is being compared

Yao Ming is a former Chinese basketball player who has a height of 7 feet 6 inches. He was selected in the 2002 draft by the Houston Rockets with whom the now 43-year-old played until 2011. 

In his final season, he was the tallest active player in the league. He has earned several career highlights including 8-time NBA All-Star and 2-time All-NBA Second Team. After his retirement, Houston Rockets also retired his jersey number 11 in 2017, to honor the player.

Also Read: Not Bronny James but THIS College Basketball Star Set to Land at Lakers’ No. 17 in 2024 NBA Mock Draft, Reveals Insider

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About The Author

Alisha Kotadia is a skilled sports journalist at the Pinkvilla. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Mass



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