Source: CRI

09-19-2008 09:45

Chinese basketball legend Mu Tiezhu was cremated at the Babaoshan Cemetery in Beijing on Thursday.

Mu died as a result of heart disease at the age of 59 last Sunday morning in the nation's capital.

Famous Chinese basketball player Zheng Haixia (L) attends the funeral of legendary basketball player Mu Tiezhu at the Babaoshan Cemetery in Beijing on Thursday, September 18, 2008.[]
Famous Chinese basketball player Zheng Haixia
(L) attends the funeral of legendary basketball
player Mu Tiezhu at the Babaoshan Cemetery in 
Beijing on Thursday, September 18, 2008.[Photo:]

Mu's family members, close friends, as well as mourners from all walks of life, were present to farewell Mu.

Several former members of the Bayi Men's Basketball Team (Mu played in the team from 1973 to 1987) attended the ceremony, including A Dijiang, Zhang Jinsong, Wang Zhizhi, Wang Lei, and female basketball player Zheng Haixia.

Mu was crowned a basketball "giant" because of his height of 2.28 meters. He joined China's national basketball team in 1977 and as a centre forward helped secure a number of titles for himself and his team.

Mu was the main force behind the Chinese basketball team in the 1970s. He led his team to victory in the 1977 Asian Basketball Championship and to a gold medal at the 1978 Asian Games.

Chinese basketball player Wang Zhizhi attends the funeral for legendary basketball player Mu Tiezhu at the Babaoshan Cemetery in Beijing on Thursday, September 18, 2008. [Photo:]
Chinese basketball player Wang Zhizhi 
attends the funeral for legendary basketball
player Mu Tiezhu at the Babaoshan Cemetery
in Beijing on Thursday, September 18, 2008.

In 1999, Mu was named "China's Outstanding Basketball Player" for his consistent high level performances.

Mu retired from the national basketball team in 1987 but stayed on in the sport he loved as coach of China's Bayi Men's Basketball Team.

Mu left the Bayi team in 2000 due to heart problems.

His last public appearance was at the Chinese women's team's Olympic game against the Czech Republic on Aug. 17.

Mu leaves behind a wife and two adult children.