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Zhuji's basketball league dribbles up community spirit

ezhejiang.gov.cn| Updated: May 21, 2024 L M S

In the 2024 Zhuji Village Basketball League, known as "Cun BA," stories of dedication and community are emerging, highlighting the unique spirit of the grassroot tournament.

The league's first phase, featuring town and subdistrict selection matches, runs from April 7 to May 22. The second phase, with champions from the first phase divided into five regional divisions, will be held from May 25 to June 5. The quarterfinals and semifinals are scheduled for June 7-10, with the final set for mid-June.

Participants include players from various backgrounds returning to their hometowns to compete, entrepreneurs making donations to foster community cohesion, and local companies providing support both on and off the court.

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Qiushan village plays against Hangzhou Zhuji Chamber of Commerce Youth Association on May 7. [Photo/Tide News]

On May 7, Qiushan village emerged as the champion of Anhua town. Three days later, they faced a new challenge against the Hangzhou Zhuji Chamber of Commerce Youth Association. The game began with intensity, the scores closely matched, with cheers from the crowd resonating throughout. Regular play ended in a tie at 65:65, leading to an overtime in which Qiushan village clinched victory with a 70:69 score.

Cao Maofeng, a 31-year-old player for the Hangzhou team, has had a passion for basketball since middle school. Now an investment banker in Hangzhou, his love for the game remains strong. "I was born in Zhuji. The competition greatly enhances connections between Zhuji and Hangzhou," Cao said.

Xu Ting, a 32-year-old Qiushan village player and entrepreneur, highlighted the economic benefits of Cun BA for the local community. "Each game attracts many spectators and players, boosting local consumption and tourism," Xu noted. He hopes basketball will inspire more young people to engage in sports.

"We aim to use basketball as a medium to build a communication platform between the government and young entrepreneurs, enhancing their understanding of their hometown," said an Anhua town official. Over the past two years, Cun BA has drawn nearly 30,000 daily visitors to the Anhua night market, with average household incomes exceeding 350,000 yuan ($48,365.92) annually and creating nearly 2,000 jobs.

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Residents cheer for players during the opening match in Taozhu subdistrict on May 8. [Photo/Tide News]

The Taozhu subdistrict competition launched on May 8 with 19 teams. Participants received players' packs, including basketball socks, towels, and bath towels, sponsored by local businesses like Kaite Socks and Grace. "The gifts are very practical and provide warm, thoughtful support," said Liujiashan village player Yuan Yu'ang.

Luo Luxiao, an official of the subdistrict, praised the support from local enterprises. "Our community businesses have been providing heartfelt services and guarantees," Luo noted. The opening match between Chengxixin and Hongmen villages tipped off a series of 43 exciting games, promising more engagement.