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Immigrant Of The Day: Max Zhang of China

by Kevin R. Johnson

Max Zhang (China)


Courtesy of

 Cal Bears fan favorite, Zhaoxu (Max) Zhang was born in Yantai City, China.  A redshirt sophomore, Max is the tallest basketball player (7' 3") in University of California history and one of only three seven footers to ever suit up for Cal Bear basketball.  Not surprisingly, he plays center.  Max plans to major in Interdisciplinary Studies.

Max, who has solid shot blocking skills, played well for China in the World University Games this past summer, including two triple-doubles. As a Freshman (2008-09): Zhang participated in 15 games for the Cal Bears and his 13 blocks were second on the team.  

In public, some basketball fans mistake Max for Yao Ming, the great Houston Rockets center from China.  Max's level-headed response:  "I know Yao Ming personally . . . .And I think he is a really great player and a great person. So when someone calls me Yao Ming, I think it is not right because he deserves a lot of respect. He shouldn't be compared to every tall Asian person."

Earlier this year, Max Zhang was instrumental in Cal's 92-66 romp over archrival Stanford.  Max had 13 points with four rebounds and three blocked shots.

January 24, 2010 in Current Affairs | Permalink

About The Author

Kevin R. Johnson is currently Dean, Professor of Law and Chicana/o Studies, and the Mabie-Apallas Public Interest Law Chair holder at the University of California at Davis. He is also one of the editors of ImmigrationProf Blog.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.