Sports are essential in life. At the Western International School of Shanghai, sports are part of our balanced approach. Currently, we offer students the opportunity to develop their passion for many different sports such as swimming, badminton, dance, softball, basketball, or football with professional coaches from the Stoke City FC Academy, among others.
Many students enroll in our WISS Athletics Program after their classes. That gives them the opportunity to keep a balanced life sharing their time between studies and sports. Practicing any kind of sports has a lot of benefits and especially for kids because it helps them to develop a team-building spirit and athletic skills.
We love to see how students who started becoming familiar with sports at WISS continue with their passion inside and outside our school. Christopher Stanley from Grade 6 is the best example of what commitment to sports means. He is devoted to basketball.
Over the summer, he participated in a major competition in China organized by YDBL. Only in Grade 6, he was part of one of the most important basketball leagues in China, traveling around the country and competing against players from different countries.
YBDL is a well-known 100% foreign youth training company in China that encourages kids between the ages of 4 and 18 to develop their passion for basketball. CJ not only had the opportunity to travel all over China to compete at a high level, he even got yo meet professional players like Allen Iverson, one of the most famous NBA players.
We cannot wait to know more about his experience!
Tell us more about you, where are you from and how long have you been studying at WISS?
I am from Washington D.C in the United States of America and I have been studying at WISS for about nine years – since around 2010. This is my tenth year at WISS and I enjoy being a #WISSstudent and a part of the WISS community.
How many years have you been playing basketball?
I have been playing basketball since the time I started walking. I picked up a basketball and I tried to run with it and then my dad would carry me up to the little basket so I could dunk.
When did you realize that basketball is one of your passions?
I realized basketball was my passion when I could not play football because of some injuries.
This summer you participated in an important basketball competition. Tell us more about your experience playing in the Mixtape Tour organized by YDBL.
I really enjoyed playing with the YBDL Mixtape Team. We went to a few cities all over China and it took about 3 weeks. It was very difficult at first but then I got used to the hard work and it became easier. We lost a few games early on. But by the time we came to the playoffs and championship, we did not lose anymore.
What does this competition mean to you?
The experience meant a whole lot to me and I am really happy that I was able to do it.
What did you learn about playing in a big competition?
I learned a lot about teamwork and what it takes to be a great player. It takes hard work every day, not just sometimes.
During this competition, you had a chance to meet Allen Iverson in person. How did you feel about meeting him in person?
Meeting Allen Iverson was awesome. He has always been one of my favorite players and to have the opportunity to interact with him directly was special. He told me a few things about basketball that I will always remember. He was a little guy just like me but he was very tough. I try to be tough like him when I play basketball.
What is your favorite basketball team? And your favorite player?
My favorite team now is the Lakers and I do not really have a favorite player currently. My favorite player of all time is probably Magic Johnson. He was the best point guard ever.
How will you encourage other students to join the WISS basketball team?
I am always encouraging other students here at WISS to play basketball. Even if you think you are not great at first if you practice you will get better. We all have to start somewhere, and even if you are not naturally gifted hard work pays off!
What is the best thing about playing basketball?
The best thing about playing basketball is the feeling I get when I am finally able to do something, like a special move, that I was not able to do before. I like the feeling of learning new things and adding them to my game, and with basketball, there is always something new to learn.
Do you play other sports?
I enjoy all types of sports but I do not play any other sports competitively. Maybe I will try tennis in the future, who knows!
CJ joined the WISS Tiger Basketball team three years ago, and what he most likes about it is that it has a real team spirit, and everyone thinks about the team and the game rather than their own goals.
The best advice he gets from his WISS coaches is that when you don’t have the ball, always try to be part of the team by playing defense.
Playing basketball at WISS, CJ has learned that the secret to winning is “not being selfish” and helping each other.