Video of children from mountainous area in SW China’s Sichuan playing basketball goes viral online

A video of a group of children from a mountainous area in southwest China’s Sichuan province skillfully playing basketball has recently gone viral online. Even for adults, some of the children’s basketball tricks can be difficult.

Waer Amu (Photo courtesy of the interviewee)

The children learned how to play basketball from their coach Waer Amu, nicknamed “Black Eagle of Liangshan Mountain”, which is also the name he gave to the basketball team. Amu is 21 years old and belongs to the Yi nationality.

Since the eagle is a totem of the Yi people, Amu shared this is the reason why the team was named “Black Eagle of Liangshan Mountain.”

Amu, who used to work in a garage while taking jobs in big cities, has always had a passion for basketball since he was a child. He found that there are many people like him in the village; even if they love basketball very much, under the pressure of life they have to be migrant workers and have no chance to play.

Waer Amu and the members of his team. (Photo courtesy of the interviewee)

“I don’t want to be engaged in anything other than basketball,” he shared. Because of this, Amu chose to return to his hometown and use the money he saved from working in big cities to build a basketball court in the mud. He held a basketball tournament named “Eagle Battle” in order to provide a platform for children in the village to play basketball.

In the barren Daliang Mountains, it is not easy to hold a basketball game for a long time. A sentence that Amu often hears is: “can playing basketball be used as a tool to make a living?”

“A lot of young people like us have their own dreams, but they need to work to earn money and get married,” Amu said in a documentary, continuing, “I don’t think so. I think we have to do what we want to do first.” In the early days of the game, in order to maintain the operation of the Eagle Battle, he even needed to pick up odd jobs to earn money.

(Photo courtesy of the interviewee)

Today, “Black Eagle of Liangshan Mountain” is no longer Amu’s own name, but has become a symbol of the team.

After nearly a year of development, the team “Black Eagle of Liangshan Mountain” is gradually growing. “At present, there are about 20 or 30 children on the team, selected from the local districts and counties of Liangshan Mountain, with ages generally between 10 to 12 years old,” Amu said. 

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