Taiwan is a fascinating country and formerly called Formosa which means Beautiful Island in Portugese.
Their culture is a combination of Confucianist Han Chinese, Japanese, European, American, global, local and Taiwanese aborigines culture. Having a hybrid culture, it must have been an influence to them to have basketball as one of the most popular sport in their country.
The new government of Taiwan promotes and supports basketball by building basketball courts and stadiums and organizing competitions to encourage more people to like the sport.
In 1963, the Chungwha Arena was built and became a big boost of popularity of basketball to Taiwan. When competing, Taiwanese holds the banner “Chinese Taipei” because of China’s opposition to use the name Taiwan under such circumstances.Taiwan Basketball Team participates in competitions such as Asian Games and FIBA. Taiwan has a semi-professional league called Super Basketball League.
Because basketball is so popular in Taiwan, it produced a lot of fans of the NBA(National Basketball Association).
Many famous NBA players have visited Taiwan such as Scottie Pippen, Karl Malon, Grant Hill, Clyde Drexler, Allen iverson, Kevin Garnett, Andre Iguodala, Chauncey Billups, Glen Rice and Kobe Bryant.
The NBA also held the first ever exhibition game in Taiwan and only the seventh asian country to host an NBA game which featured the Denver Nuggets and the Indiana Pacers last October 9, 2009. Taiwanese witnessed Denver’s Superstar Carmelo Anthony and Indiana’s Danny Granger.
The Pacers won 126-104 but the result doesn’t seem to matter, because it showed how great admirers of basketball Taiwanese people are. It also garnered the most crowd to ever watch a single basketball game in the country with 12,000 screaming fans enjoying the show.
Taiwan’s Super Basketball League
Super Basketball League or SBL is a semi-professional league founded in 2003 which is considered as the descendant organization of the Chinese Basketball Alliance(CBA) that only existed from 1994 to 1999 in Taiwan.
There are 7 teams participating in this league. These are the Bank of Taiwan, Dacin Tigers, Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor, Pure-Youth Construction, Taiwan Beer, Taiwan Mobile Clouded Leopards and Yulon Luxgen Dinos.
In the first three seasons of the SBL(2003-2004, 2004-2005,2005-2006), the Yulon Dinos have dominated the league and emerging as a three-peat champion. In 2006-2007, the Taiwan Beer defeated the Dacin Tigers to dethrone the Champion Yulon Dinos and became the champions of the season.
In 2007-2008 season, the Taiwan Beer repeats its supremacy in the league by defeating the Yulon Dinos and emerged as the champion. In 2008-2009 season, Dacin Tigers defeated the Taiwan Beer in the Championship series to be the champion of the season. In 2009-2010 season, the Yulon Dinos won over the Dacin Tigers to take the championship crown.
It also have Women’s Super Basketball League which is joined by four teams, the Cathay Life, Chunghwa Telecom, Taipower and Tai Yuan Textile.
Chen Hsin-an also called as Sean Chen, is a taiwanese professional basketball player and was also dubbed as the Taiwan Airman. He is 6’3 and plays the small forward position and sometimes adjust to shooting guard.
He is regarded as one of the most talented basketball players in Asia. He is the first Most Valuable Player in the Super Basketball League in 2003-2004 Championship Series with the Yulon Dinos. He is a two-time champion, one-time regular season MVP(2007-2008), one-time finals MVP(2003-2004, one-time All-SBL Team and one-time scoring champion.
He led the Chinese Taipei Team in the 2001 East Asian Games where they won silver medal.
He is also the closest Taiwanese player to ever come to compete in the NBA, but only in the preseason games and the NBA Summer League back then in 2002-2003 offseason. He did not succeed to enter the NBA but he participated shortly in American Basketball Association in 2004-2005.
As his injuries affected his capability to play more abroad, he missed many opportunities to represent Taiwan. His most famous play was the slam dunk over the Yao Ming back in 2000 who joined the NBA as a rookie in 2002-2003.
After he failed to get his team in SBL in the championship, in disappointment he transfers to Chinese Basketball Association and joined the Dongguan New Century Leopards in 2009.
Chinese Taipei Basketball Team
Taiwan’s national team is Chinese Taipei National Basketball Team. It represents taiwan in international competitions.
Chinese Taipei finished the 1959 FIBA World Championship in Fourth Place but it is the 2nd best finish of an Asian Country in FIBA.
In FIBA Asia, Chinese Taipei has won silver medal in the years 1960 and 1963 in ABC Championship. They won bronze medal in 1973 and 1989.
Chinese Taipei National Team in Asian games have won 2 silver medals way back in 1954 and 1958.
Chinese Taipei’s Women National team in FIBA Asia Championship have won 8 medals. One silver medal in 1972, seven bronze medals in 1965, 1968, 1970, 1974, 1986, 1988, 1999 and 2005.
The Women’s National Team in Asian games have won 1 silver medal in 2006 and 2 bronze medals in 1990 and 2002.