John Li

Chinese Exchange Student Helping Navajo School Bball Team

ICTMN Staff
3/3/11

Ryan Boetel of the Daily Times, Farmington, New Mexico's local newspaper, reports that a foreign exchange student from Beijing is helping the local high school in their quest for a state basketball championship.

Shiprock High School, located on the Navajo Reservation, has the benefit of John Li's skills on the court, and his good attitude and ability to learn quickly off the court.  The 6'3" Li is the center on the Shiprock Chieftans, and hopes to help his adopted team make a run for the state tournament.

"My first thought was "How did you find Shiprock?'," said Shiprock Coach Ben Tensay told Boetel. "What he tells me is the view they have of the west is almost like the old west. They gave him options and he chose Shiprock. And I'm just glad he's here."

Li had to deal with the language barrier (he knew no English upon his arrival) and acclimating to his new surroundings, and to say things have gone well would be a huge understatement.  After the team beat Wingate to become regular season champs, the team surrounded and hugged Li.  They are now set to make a 10-hour bus journey to the opposite corner of New Mexico to play Lovington this Saturday in the first round of the Class 3 State Tournament.

Read more about it on the Daily Times website, including Li's interview.

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