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Rural basketball tournament eyes interactions with NBA

By YANG JUN in Guiyang and ZHANG XIAOMIN | China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-01 00:11

Cheerleaders motivate the players during the opening of the tournament on March 22. [Photo provided to China Daily]

On opening day, singers performed, with the aim of conveying cultural confidence to the audience and improving awareness of preserving traditional culture, according to the organizers, who hope that such activities will attract even more spectators to the games.

"The Cun BA journey is truly rewarding," said Luo Shan, a resident of Chongqing, who took time off from work to embark on an impromptu trip with her son.

"The atmosphere was amazing, and we might come back," Luo said after watching the inaugural game, adding that they also enjoyed local delicacies and performances.

The Cun BA phenomenon has not only energized the local economy, but has also contributed to the overall development of Taipan village and the surrounding region.

In 2023, Taijiang county, which has jurisdiction over Taipan, attracted 6.4 million tourists, up nearly 75 percent year-on-year, and the county's tourism revenue reached 8.46 billion yuan ($1.17 billion), up nearly 95 percent year-on-year.

With the growing fame of Cun BA, Yang Zaihua, a local resident who used to work as a migrant worker outside the province, returned to his hometown and started a barbecue business next to the venue for the games.

"I used to earn only 4,000 yuan a month as a migrant worker, while now I can earn 400 to 500 yuan a day. When people come here, money arrives," Yang said.

He added that he is happy, since he can make money while watching his hometown become an even better place.

At the grassroots level, sports events combined with entertainment activities are driving local cultural and tourism development in a number of regions across the country.

For example, in Wenchang, Hai­nan province, a volleyball competition featuring an array of playing styles attracted wide participation. The atmosphere both on and off the court was filled with joy and excitement, sparking the enthusiasm of players and spectators alike.

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