Basket: 'Beast' Ping makes Chinese breakthrough in Europe

Greek side Panathinaikos announced Thursday that they have reached an agreement with Chinese national team player Ping Shang for the upcoming season.

Ping, 29, becomes the first Chinese basketball player to play professionally in Europe, according to the Greek club.

"It had been according to plan, to make an opening towards the gigantic market of China and we are especially pleased that Panathinaikos becomes a pioneer in Europe, when it comes to this matter", said Panathinaikos president, Dimitris Giannakopoulos.

Ping stated: "I am excited and I can't wait to come to Greece and meet my coach and my teammates. It has been a dream for me to compete in Europe and now I come to realize that it has come true."

Ping was born in Harbin and stands at 2.09m tall.

He played college basketball in the US at Illinois Central Community College and then at Nebraska University.

Due to his physical power, he was given the nickname "The Beast" in his university days.

He then returned to China where he competed for the Beijing Ducks, Shanxi Zhongyh and Qingdao.