Recent evidence referencing a Sports Illustrated-China piece suggests that Yi Jianlian, the 7-0 forward from Heshan City, China, is much older than 21 years old, as all his official NBA profiles report.
The document is Yi’s senior registration form at Binhe Middle School, which has a picture of a young Yi and seems to have been filled out by Yi himself. The form is from 1997 and lists his date of birth as Oct. 27, 1984, and not October 27, 1987 as it’s found on NBA.com.
You can see in the image to the left, on the first line next to Yi Jianlian’s photo that it shows his birth date to be 1984.10.27 (click on the image to make it larger)
For more information and discussion, please check out our discussion thread dedicated to this. You can also see the full document in this thread (not that it’ll do you much good unless you can read Chinese).
Since Jianlian has become an NBA prospect to being a player with the New Jersey Nets, rumors and controversy surrounding the Yi’s real age has followed him where ever he has been.
And Yi has asserted in the past that his birthyear is 1987, and he has also denied to answer any questions concerning his age “I have no comment on that,” Yi said through translator Roy Lu back when when the then supposed-19-year old was on his way to his first practice with the Milwaukee Bucks.
No word on whether this document was discovered during a recent crackdown that found at least 36 Chinese players “age-shaving” or lying about their ages in order to qualify for youth tournaments. Chinese authorities have pledged to put an end to age fraud, which apparently is very common in China.
Links and Resources: Source: http://mengxiaowan.blog.sohu.com/106788872.html (Sohu), Yi Jianlian, 1984 Evidence? (Real year of birth) – Interbasket forum Chinese crackdown finds 36 basketball players gave false ages (AP), Yi Jianlian’s profile and age (NBA.com), China basketball opens fire against age fraud (People.com.cn)