This summer is surprisingly hot.

  Guizhou Taipan Village is more than 200 kilometers away from the provincial capital Guiyang.

Even in the sweltering heat, there are still a lot of people together because of basketball - what they love in their hearts.

  When night fell, the villagers took the benches to the stadium, and there were various snack and drink stalls on both sides of the road.

Lights gathered on the basketball court with red and green color matching, and the shouts cut through the silence of the night sky.

Image source: Screenshot of interviewee's video

  Although I watched the live broadcast of the game, I was still shocked after accepting the video call invitation from the local villagers.

  In front of the camera, a young boy about five or six years old was waving a fluorescent balloon to cheer; beside him, several teenagers sat in the stands and looked at the stadium attentively; everyone talked about the situation on the field from time to time...

  For a time, I couldn't help feeling the purity of local basketball.

In fact, in Qiandongnan Prefecture, Guizhou Province, basketball games in many villages look like this.

"Eat the new festival", play basketball 

  The competition prize scalpers and pigs were hotly discussed, praised by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian, and the crowd was full... In the past period, the Taipan Village basketball game has become the talk of countless netizens.

  As everyone knows, "Village BA" is the result of the inheritance of countless generations.

Image source: Screenshot of Zhao Lijian's overseas social media

  "According to the county's log records, the history of basketball games held in Taipan Village can be traced back to 1940." Zhang Shoushuang, secretary of the Party branch of Taipan Village, shared the fate of the village and basketball.

  According to the villagers in their 90s, they played ball games when they were young.

After careful calculation, the "Village BA" has a longer history than the NBA league on the other side of the ocean.

  In Taipan Village, starting from the sixth day of the sixth month of the lunar calendar, the annual "Eating New Festival" will be held, which lasts for about two weeks. It has the good meaning of praying for a good harvest. Villagers from Shiliba Village gather here.

"Ever since I can remember, the atmosphere of 'Eating New Festival' has been very hot every year." Zhang Shoushuang said.

  Basketball is perhaps the most popular sport among young people.

The picture shows Wang Zaigui.

Photo courtesy of the interviewee

  Wang Zaigui, 26, has dark skin and looks very mature.

The locals affectionately call him the leader of the atmosphere group.

  He works in the county town on weekdays and has been a commentator in Taipan Village since 2016.

During the "Eating New Festival" competition, Wang Zaigui drove straight to the billiard court after get off work, and rested in the car when he was tired.

  In his words, the commentary is also a kind of basketball culture, using the local language to mobilize the audience to watch the ball.

  "When watching the game, I will lead everyone to make a 'wu' sound. This is a unique way of cheering for our local basketball. The players are more excited when they hear it, and the audience will shout harder." Wang Zaigui introduced.

Image source: Photo courtesy of the interviewee

  When asked about the reasons for the explosion this year, many locals could not tell one or two.

Because in their opinion, the basketball atmosphere there has always been.

  As the popularity continued to rise, the semi-finals of Qiandongnan Prefecture of Guizhou Province's "Beautiful Village" basketball league also came to Taipan Village. Countless cameras were set up on the sidelines, and the praise of "Village BA" was called out.

Cheer with pots and pans

  In the southeastern part of Guizhou, in Taipan Village, what is hotter than the weather is the local people's enthusiasm for basketball.

  When the "Eating New Year" came, tens of thousands of villagers surrounded the basketball court in the center, and the audience stands were always full from high to low, giving people a kind of shock from the bottom of their hearts.

  "It turned out that the basketball hoop and basketball hoop were simple, and the venue was muddy. The current stadium was only completed in 2016." Talking about the construction of the stadium, Zhang Shoushuang still remembers it fresh.

The spectator stand built according to the terrain has been renovated in 2018 to increase the number of spectators. "It can now accommodate more than 10,000 people," said Zhang Shoushuang.

Image source: Photo courtesy of the interviewee

  As for how enthusiastic the audience will be when watching the game, Zhang Shoushuang gave a vivid example, "Many people will bring benches to occupy seats in advance. After the game starts, as soon as you leave your seat or even turn around, there may be no seats left." He Introduced with a smile.

  Elderly people in their 90s came to watch the game; spectators from Hunan drove over to watch the game; fans standing on the slope took off their shoes and put them on their hands, staring at the stadium in a half-kneeling posture... "In Taipan Village at the time, such scenes are very common.

  Wen Wu, a villager from Mianhua Village, Taipan Township, was also quite touched by this. He also witnessed the grand occasion of this year's "Village BA", "wherever there is a competition, go to watch it".

Image source: Photo courtesy of the interviewee

  In his words, it is normal for villagers to climb ladders to watch the game when the "Eat New Festival" is holding a basketball game.

"When cheering, some people came directly with pots and pans, and some held up banners and signs to cheer." Whenever a goal appeared, there would be a sound of iron hitting on the sidelines.

  During the intermission, the local Miao brothers and sisters will sing Miao songs and dance Miao dances, and the audience can take home prizes such as local pig legs and catpo watermelons when they hit the ball.

  The "grand prizes" such as Huangping cattle and Rongjiang Xiangyang, which are talked about by everyone, were donated spontaneously by villagers and farmers. "In the past, these things were hidden in the boudoir, but now they are known to everyone through basketball games." Wang Zaigui said.

  At the scene, many people could only watch the game on their mobile phones because they were late.

But even so, they were still reluctant to go back. They moved stools and sat behind the crowd, listening to the shouting and watching the live broadcast of the game.

  This is the epitome of the popularity of "Village BA".

The picture shows the 2017 Taipan Village "Eat New Festival" competition.

Photo courtesy of the interviewee

"Watched for three days and three nights"

  Among many local people, the "Tianliang Culture" is very famous. As the name suggests, the game will be played until dawn.

  In this year's "Eat New Festival" basketball game, 176 basketball teams participated, and the increase in the number of games made the schedule more intensive.

  "I watched it for almost three days and three nights. I went home and slept for a while during the day, and then ran over to watch the game." Recalling the scene of watching the game at this year's "Eat New Festival", Wen Wu was still a little excited.

  During the interview, Wen Wu happened to be watching the game from the side of the court.

He introduced that different villages in Taipan Township have their own traditional festivals. In addition to the "Eat New Festival", there are also "July Half" and "Going Family Day".

  According to Zhang Shoushuang, if the number of teams is large or there are competitions for the championship and runner-up, the basketball game will last for a long time.

"The longest one was from the morning of the first day to the early morning of the second day," he recalled.

The picture shows the 2017 Taipan Village "Eat New Festival" competition.

Photo courtesy of the interviewee

  On weekdays, although the basketball courts in Taipan Township do not have large-scale games, they are still lively.

  "The villagers do farming during the day and come to the stadium after dinner at night." Zhang Shoushuang introduced the daily life of many villagers in Taipan Village.

  As a civil and military villager in Cotton Village, he is a frequent visitor on the field on weekdays.

"Which team loses will buy water for everyone to drink," he said with a smile, and there are never fewer people on the field.

The picture shows Liao Xingping refereeing the game.

Photo courtesy of the interviewee

young man coming home

  Every year during the "Eating New Year's Day", many young people who go out to work take more than ten days off to return to their hometowns because of basketball.

"They took leave from outside and came back to their hometowns to organize events on their own." Zhang Shoushuang was impressed.

  Liao Xingping is one of many young people.

After graduating from Liupanshui Teachers College, a local college, Liao Xingping continued his undergraduate studies in physical education and began to teach elementary school students to play basketball.

  When he came back to his hometown and met "Eating New Festival", he had another identity, the referee.

The picture shows Liao Xingping refereeing the game.

Photo courtesy of the interviewee

  "I was certified as a basketball referee when I was in college. I usually work in Carey, and I will pass the game when I have time." In his opinion, the atmosphere of the basketball game in the village is hot, and the physical confrontation is strong, comparable to the CBA postseason. Competition intensity.

  As a referee, he also enjoys refereeing in this atmosphere. "In the group stage, at most three games will be played in a row."

  The hot local basketball culture has had a subtle influence on Liao Xingping. He loves basketball and is eager to improve his refereeing level in the future to whistle and punish more professional events.

Image source: Screenshot of interviewee's video

  "Taiwan's basketball culture is passed on in the form of a baton, and as a younger generation, we should pick up this baton."

  Behind the "breaking circle" of "Village BA" is the revitalization of rural basketball.

When it comes to future plans, Zhang Shoushuang and Liao Xingping both mentioned this sentence: let the fans see that the game is getting better year by year.

  When the countryside and basketball collide with sparks, there is everyone's love for basketball, and the blending of dreams and reality, which is a distant place in the eyes of many Chinese basketball players.

  As night fell, the villagers gathered on the "net celebrity" basketball court again, waiting for the first goal.

  And Chinese basketball is also waiting for the emergence of more "phenomenal" rural basketball games.

  Author: Liu Xingchen