Tiny dynamo

Tiny dynamo

Ping-ping's small size doesn't stop her from dominating the basketball court

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Tiny dynamo_L
Photo: Kevin Kung
She stands at a mere 1.52 metres, but Sze Ping-ping from Heep Yunn School is a giant on the basketball court. The 17-year-old is a star of the inter-school competition circuit.

But at times she does come up short, she admits - like when she tries to snatch the ball away from much taller opponents. So the player has honed other aspects of her game.

"I started playing basketball in primary school and realised I must do well in other aspects to make up for my lower height," Ping-ping says. "I focused on my fitness and my speed."

Her years of hard practice have paid off. Ping-ping has grown into an accomplished player and her team's energetic little dynamo.

Her dribbling moves make her unpredictable on the court, even as she can read her opponents' intention with ease. "I am also aggressive and always ready to 'steal' the ball," the student says.

Her height, too, helps her in a way. It makes her more agile than many of her tall opponents. She can run circles around them.

During the final of the All Hong Kong Schools Jing Ying Basketball Tournament last month, Ping-ping showed her skills. She led her team in making a stunning comeback from a 10-point deficit. She seemed unstoppable, darting around the court as if on roller skates. With her help, Heep Yunn School's team beat Kwei Wah Shan to defend their title.

"I am always confident in myself and my team," Ping-ping says. "I won't give up even after a bad start to a game. And I won't slow down even when we're ahead."

Her skills earned her an MVP award for the second time in the tournament. The tiny player also led Heep Yunn in winning all four inter-school majors last year.

But she isn't resting on her laurels. "I want everyone on our team to have the ability to score," she says.

"I also want our reserve players to have more time on the court and play just as well as the rest of us."

But it doesn't mean she has no problem areas of her own. Shoes, for instance, are one.

Her feet are so small that often she can't find basketball shoes in the right size. "I usually ask my sponsor for the smallest shoes they have. Sometimes they give me children's shoes," Ping-ping says.

She received a nice new pair of shoes with her MVP awards. But they were too big for her so she gave them to her brother.

She may be small, but Ping-ping dreams big. "I am still growing," she says.

"I hope I can grow taller. Actually, I am taller than I used to be!"

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