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China Daily:Tactician holds court as basketball team displays its true net worth


Taiyuan University of Technology's men's basketball team has won the CUBA championship twice since the Chinese University Basketball Association started the league in 1998.

His job centers on a court and establishing, among other aspects, the case for a good defense and getting the right verdict. But Ren Jinjun, 57, is not a lawyer. Ren is head of the sports teams of Taiyuan University of Technology. He carefully examines each basketball player's moves. He knows the most minute detail of every player, and how they have trained recently.

His ambition is to lead his basketball team to another Chinese University Basketball Association title, before he retires in 2022. He has been in the position for 21 years.

Under his guidance, the university's basketball team has won the championship twice since CUBA started in 1998.

"Our school's basketball team has the ability to compete with the country's top universities like Tsinghua University and Peking University," he says.

In the CUBA's rankings, the team has been in the top eight, out of over 1,000 universities, each year except twice, according to Ren.

"We must make greater efforts and spend more energy on training," Ren says. A graduate from Beijing Sport University who majored in track and field, he points out that the players' perseverance and hard work is the key to success.

Getting up at 6 am each day, the 25 basketball players, all students, train four times a week for more than six hours each day.

Ren designs individual training formats for each player to strengthen any weaknesses in their game.

To spot up-and-coming players, he travels to high schools across the country each year to uncover potential future stars. If good enough, they'll get enrolled into the university, but Ren says very good players are hard to find, as many choose to enroll in more famous, top universities, especially those in big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.

His enthusiasm and keen eye in cultivating basketball players is legendary.

"We get them to achieve because the university pays a great deal of attention on cultivating sportsmanship and a never-say-die spirit," he says.

The university's president Huang Qingxue says: "The players' competitive spirit and bravery to overcome challenges has influenced and encouraged other students, and even faculty members, on campus.

"Our players may not be as tall or strong as those in top universities, but they undergo harder training and are infused with the spirit of perseverance."

Another coach, Guganeswaran S Batumalai from Malaysia, who once competed against the university's basketball team as a student at Huaqiao University in South China's Fujian province, knows what it takes to succeed after just three months in his position.

"I know how much attention the university and Ren give to the basketball team and how strong the players are," says the 38-year-old coach.

He recognizes the school's passion to fight.

According to Huang, the school's basketball team are serious competitors against the top teams of Tsinghua and Peking universities.

This passion for success runs through the university, and its soccer team has been China University Football Association champion once.

"Our school is the only university in China that has won titles both in basketball and soccer," he says.

SUN RUISHENG and ZHANG YU in Taiyuan, Shanxi

Source: http://subscription.chinadaily.com.cn/reader/Home/ShareNews?ticket=656406243BBEE804C17CD6835BDB8C5B7347E5779470BD0CAEA8192018029D24&from=singlemessage&isappinstalled=0

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