Ming-Ming *Updated*

Posted by Brandon |

Last night I was adding local college basketball teams to my links section and came across the Ventura College page and noticed a very big man in the back row...

After a double take and further examination of the picture to see if maybe he was standing on a chair, I clicked on the roster link and discovered Sun Ming-Ming, a 7-8, 360 pound freshman for the Pirates.

UPDATE...Thanks to Cammo who pointed out that this is the Sun Ming-Ming and thanks to my typing skills I found out a lot about this Ventura College behemoth and is a very interesting story.

Sun Ming-Ming had a lot of buzz around him when he entered the NBA draft last season. Despite his 7-8 frame, he went undrafted mainly because he had virtually no stamina and no speed.

It was later discovered that Sun had a tumor on his pituitary gland that needed to be removed to not only help him with his stamina but also to slow the release of growth hormone, a problem that would probably be fatal if not treated.

He had surgery to remove the tumor on September 27th and everything seems to have gone really well. Now that his life has been saved he can resume playing basketball and see if his game will be positively affected by the surgery. He wasn't able to even keep his arms up for long periods without getting tired. Hopefully these issues have been corrected. If it has, he will dominate the community college leagues down here and should become an NBA prospect again.

I'm definitely rooting for him. His story is so fascinating. He is from a poor Chinese family who couldn't even afford the right size shoes so he had to wear small ones that hurt the development of his feet. He is tall because of a tumor that eventually would have killed him, which is the ultimate mixed blessing. His surgery cost over $100,000, which he did not have, but thanks to a large loan, donations and the help of his agent he was able to get the surgery. He is in a massive amount of debt but at least he is now healthy and able to pursue his dream. And he can dunk without jumping! How cool is that?

He will be an interesting story to follow this season and that story will be played out about a half mile from my house at Ventura College. I think I can probably make the long trek to the gym to see a couple of games. Go Sun Ming-Ming and go Pirates!