The NBA is popular here in China; CCTV rebroadcasts lots of U.S. basketball games, complete with Chinese announcers.

But the CBA–Chinese Basketball Association–has been picking up steam here now too.

There are 16 teams in the CBA–my Wife’s Younger Brother tells me that the best team and the worst team are both in Guangzhou, the only city to have two teams.

Fujian Province here also has a team, but I was amazed to discover last night that the team’s home is actually here in the Jinjiang area, not in Fuzhou, the capital city, or Xiamen, the large more “cultural” city not far away.

Why Jinjiang, I asked?

Money–there’s a lot of it in Jinjiang–and interest. Jinjiang locals for some reason are basketball maniacs.

I somehow wonder if it has something to do with all the shoes made here being hawked by NBA stars and former stars. Who knows, maybe Michael Jordan was grand marshal of a parade here at one point and I just haven’t heard about it.

Anyway, one evening not long ago we watched the Jinjiang team play the team from Yunnan province. Jinjiang trounced them something like 106-59.

Most interesting of all, though, was finding that both teams have a couple players from America on them, and the Jinjiang team even has an American coach.

I just had to take some video: try to watch it. (It’s in Windows Media format (.wmv). If it doesn’t play, sorry, I’ll try to fix it when I’m back in the States.)

You can also read an interesting article about the CBA draft of American players on Henry Abbott’s site.