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Irish president tests positive for COVID******
Irish President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina Higgins have tested positive for COVID-19, said a statement from the Presidency of Ireland on Friday.
The statement said that both President and his wife displayed mild COVID-19 symptoms on Friday morning and have taken antigen tests which turned out positive.
They will be isolating for the next seven days, said the statement, adding that the president, while isolating, is continuing to work from home.
Feature: College team's foray in China's pro basketball league******
By sportswriters Su Bin and Wang Jingyu。
BEIJING, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Federation of University Sports of China (FUSC) United Team is set to stand out in the new Women's Chinese Basketball Association (WCBA) season, as it is the only squad composed entirely of college students.。
Featuring 16 student players, the FUSC United Team is one of 18 outfits set to feature in the 2021-22 WCBA season which begins on Sunday.。
The chosen 16 come from six universities, with Beijing Normal University providing as many as 10 players. The rest are selected from Tsinghua University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Sichuan Normal University and China University of Mining and Technology.。
In addition to their basketball commitments, these players also have to attend academic classes and do their homework, unlike their professional counterparts who can spend their free time at leisure.。
Liu Yutong, a senior majoring in physical education at Beijing Normal University, is one of two FUSC players to have featured in China's national team at the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year.。
Also pursuing a double degree in education, Liu found it important to strike the right balance between her studies and training for the WCBA league being held in Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan Province.。
"We cannot abandon our studies, but playing in the WCBA league is also an opportunity that we can't miss," said Liu, who recalled her excitement at being given the chance to play in the professional league.。
"It's not often that we can compete with these pros, so I cherish this learning opportunity for my future development," she added.。
Liu and her teammates are required to submit their homework every day, and spend up to three hours every evening communicating online with their teachers and fulfilling their academic commitments.。
"Many students are confronted with issues such as obtaining certificates and completing enough credits, and some players here have to finish their curriculums online," said team leader Zhao Xing, also director of the FUSC's Project Department.。
Li Sunnan, head coach of the FUSC, said that despite not previously being familiar with each other, his players were focused in the training camp and have showcased their qualities as college student players.。
"We hope to integrate everyone into this team as soon as possible," he commented. "We want to display and improve our level, and have our players concentrate on every possession in every minute on the court."
According to Zhao, the FUSC has been tasked with recruiting players in preparation for the World University Games since 2005, and the FUSC United Team is likely to represent China at next year's Universiade in Chengdu.。
"We have a chance of securing a medal in the women's category at the Universiade," Zhao said confidently. "We hope to test our team through high-level competitions, and the WCBA league is a good opportunity for us to do so."
According to the WCBA league, the FUSC United Team will only compete in the regular season and will not be ranked in the overall standings.。
"We hope that before the start of the Universiade, our players can become familiar with each other and the coaching staff can figure out specific tactics based on their characteristics," Zhao noted.。
Zhao expressed his wishes that the FUSC United Team's foray in the WCBA league would allow more people to realize the importance of the college basketball league in bridging the gap between youth basketball and the professional league.。
"More teenage players will become aware that they can also play in the professional league while studying at university, and universities can nurture quality players as well," he commented.。
Therefore, their results in the coming WCBA season will not be a top priority for these young guns, said Li.。
"What we are striving for is ensuring that everyone in this team plays at her best level, and improves her overall capabilities at every moment," he said.。
Liu echoed her coach's opinion, saying that she hopes to develop her skills and game-reading vision by competing against professional players.。
"The more difficulties I face, the more lessons I will learn," she said. Enditem。