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Basketball star Zach Edey is already creating a lasting impact on the Chinese Canadian community

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At seven foot four, 21-year-old Canadian NCAA basketball star Zach Edey sits tall at creating an important legacy for Canadians in his young career.

“Even though he’s physically bigger, a lot of the cultural things that he goes through are very similar and I think that’s very comforting and good for kids to know because they can identify with him,” President of the Chinese Canadian Youth Athletic Association (CCYAA), Clement Chu, said.

Most recently, the CCYAA hosted a watch party during the semi-finals on the weekend to cheer on Edey.

“There’s a lot of Chinese Canadians, we gathered together and we watched the game,” Jeremy Zheng, who reports on all things basketball and covers the NBA, said.

“His story is really inspirational to a lot of Canadians, especially kids. There are a lot of Canadian basketball fans in front of the TV watching him play. Everybody is cheering for him. We’re with him, we support him and we’re fighting with him.”

Edey was born and raised in Toronto and his mother Julia, is from Guangzhou, China. His early career in basketball began at Leaside High School, where the school’s basketball coach, Amit Latchmiah insisted Edey join the team.

“He came in grade 10 and I saw this seven foot two kid and I was like, ‘no, I got to have him on my basketball team,’” Latchmiah said.

Because of his raw talent as an early basketball player, coach Latchmiah recalls how he scored double digits in almost every game, even scoring as many as 40 points in one game.

His journey then led him to Florida, where he pursued his basketball dreams even further and is now a college basketball player for the Purdue Boilermakers of the Big Ten Conference.

Even with Purdue’s 75-60 defeat to UConn for the NCAA title last night, Edey is already creating a household name in his young career.

“He did everything that can be done this year. The numbers don’t lie,” Zheng said

“For the kids who are watching his game in front of the TV, maybe after 10 years they can be the next Zach Edey.”

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