God Lives in China; Only Eats MacDo's
Today's Wall Street Journal has the kind of feature story I love. It (i) catches up with someone you loved but had forgotten about, (ii) gives a sampling of life in a foreign country, (iii) has great photos, and (iv) deals with a guy who wishes he lived in Beijing or Shanghai because they have "Friday's, Outback Steakhouse and all kinds of American restaurants."
The story [subscription only; fuck you WSJ] is about the immortal (literally!) God Shammgod. You may remember Shammgod from the 1997 NCAA Tournament, when he and white-as-white-can-be Austin Croshere led 10th-seeded Providence to the regional final.
After leaving Providence (yes, God went to a catholic school called Providence) following his sophomore season, Shammgod was drafted in the 2nd round by the Wizards, who then cut him after 20 games.
Shamm is currently one of thirty non-Chinese players in the Chinese Basketball Association. He plays in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, which the WSJ says is "one of the most polluted cities in the world."
More on God...
Perhaps most notable about Shamm's life in China, is that he refuses to eat non-Western foods:
"Food is another constant concern. Mr. Shammgod tries to eat all of his meals at Pizza Hut or McDonald's, Taiyuan's only two Western establishments. We ate at McDonald's three times during my 24-hour visit, my first visits to a Chinese Mickey D's. When he can't make it to one of those places, he sticks with rice and fresh fruit. Even Mr. Dixon, who speaks some Chinese and is fairly well assimilated, tries to avoid local cuisine. "They eat too much weird stuff," he says, noting that he follows the lead of a Muslim teammate at team meals because he won't eat dog.
"Beijing and Shanghai are nice," said Mr. Shammgod. "Living there would be easy. They have [T.G.I.] Friday's, Outback Steakhouse and all kinds of American restaurants."
Basketball-wise, God seems to be owning in China. The WSJ notes: "Mr. Shammgod dominated the action in the run-down arena, scoring 46 points and handing out about 20 assists."
UPDATE: A little more research finds that the same writer who wrote today's story in the WSJ wrote a similar story on God for SLAM magazine in November. Link is here, and photo below.