Greece- and China-based outlets aplenty have been speculating about Panathinaikos club president Dimitris Giannakopoulos’ planned trip to China next week in conjunction with that team’s national team Olympic Games warmups. Names like Jianlian Yi and Sun Yue have been bandied about as possible additions to the PAO roster for 2012-13, but today Greece-based Sentragoal claims to have received the name of the Greens’ prospect: 2.16m (7’1”) Dejun Han, a.k.a. “Cyclops.”
Though Sentragoal notes that this revelation is surprising, the outlet is quick to note that “Beyond basketball … there’s marketing. And it seems that Panathinaikos wants to tap this vein … The Chinese market is huge, sports have a huge stake in the local community, money is abundant and the pride of Chinese people is immeasurable when one of their own becomes distinguished abroad…”
The move to go for a no-namer over the likes of Yi and Yue therefore makes more sense from a business angle, especially vis-à-vis the omniscient spectre of the NBA: How impressed would a Chinese basketball fan be if this top European club signed a washout from the big league? (Yi finished 2011-12 with the Texas Legends; Yue played with the Beijing Olympians.)
What can BallinEurope tell you about Han? Not too much, unfortunately (hey, his FIBA profile doesn’t even have a picture…). We do know that he was born in 1989, has played five seasons with the Liaoning Panpan Hunters of the Chinese CBA and, um, that’s about it.
Hopefully for the Greens’ sake, Giannakopoulos will find out a little more.