Mengke Bateer is a retired Chinese professional basketball player who played at both NBA and CBA. With his tall and imposing frame, Mengke played in the position of a center.
Moreover, Bateer started playing professionally in 1997, and since then, he is the only Chinese basketball player who has played in the NBA without being selected during NBA Draft.
Likewise, Bateer is also one of the only two Chinese basketball athletes who has won both NBA and CBA finals.
Furthermore, let’s get to know more about Mengke Bateer’s life in detail. First, let’s look into some of Bateer’s quick facts.
Mengke Bateer | Quick Facts
|Full Name||Mengke Bateer|
|Birth Date||November 20th,1975|
|Birth Place||Hanggin Banner, Inner Mongolia, China|
|Age||46 years old|
|Nickname||“Walking Great Wall”|
|Father’s Name||Not Disclosed|
|Mother’s Name||Not Disclosed|
|Height||6’11” (2.11 m)|
|Weight||132 kgs (290 lbs)|
|Shoe Size||Not Available|
|Hair Color||Dark Brown|
San Antonio Spurs
Xinjiang Flying Tigers
Sichuan Blue Whales
Shaanxi Weinan Xingda
|Number||27, 34, 14, 42|
|Children||Niu-Niu Bateer, Difeilana Bateer|
|Profession||Professional Basketball Player|
|Net Worth||$5 million|
|Career Highlights & Awards||NBA champion- 2003
4× CBA Most Valuable Player
2× CBA All-Star Game MVP
No. 9 retired by the Beijing Ducks
|Last Update||July, 2022|
Early Life, Family, and Education | Mengke Bateer
On November 20, 1975, Bateer was born in Hanggin Banner, Inner Mongolia, China.
Mengke has not disclosed any information about his family. His familial name is therefore unknown.
Furthermore, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China is home to Bateer, a member of the minority-dominant ethnic group.
Bateer, like many other ethnic Mongols, lacks a family name; instead, his full name is made up of the phrases “Monkh Baatar,” which means “Eternal Eternal,” and “Baatar,” which means “Hero.”
He is known as Ba Te Er in Mandarin as well. He is also known as “Da Ba,” where Da stands for “huge” in English and Ba for the initial letter of his name in Mandarin.
Age, height, and physical characteristics
In 2022, Mengke turned 46 years old. He has an athletic build and is 6’11” (2.11 m) tall. His weight is approximately 132 kg (290 lbs).
Bateer’s birthdate indicates that he is a Scorpio, which is his zodiac sign.
Additionally, Bateer has made no mention of his academic background. He was born and raised in China, so it stands to reason that he received his schooling there.
The career and profession of Mengke Bateer
Let’s first examine Bateer’s playing career before going on to his professional career.
The Beijing Ducks promoted Bateer via the youth ranks.
When he was 18 years old, he made his national basketball team debut for China before the Asian Games in 1994.
Similarly, three years later, despite being a consistent player in the rotation, Bateer was dismissed from the national team due to conduct issues.
As Mengke constantly tried to leave his teams and go back to his home throughout his career, he was frequently portrayed to the public as a filial son.
In addition, Bateer was invited to participate in a pre-draft competition in Phoenix in 1999 while working out with the Chinese national team. However, due to jet lag, he struggled to impress the scouts in attendance.
Mengke also made a brief appearance at a different pre-draft event that was hosted in Treviso, Italy.
He stayed with the Ducks from the 1997–1998 CBA season through the 2001–2002 season, but waited a few more years to play in the NBA.
At the 2002 CBA All-Star Game, Mengke eventually won MVP honors.
Denver Nuggets career in the NBA
Mengke additionally joined the Denver Nuggets in October 2001 during the team’s preseason training camp.
He was released by the Nuggets after just two preseason games, but he later returned in March 2002 when the franchise had traded Raef LaFrentz and was in desperate need of a player of his caliber.
Mengke joined Wang Zhizhi as the second basketball player from China to play in the NBA as a result.
A year prior, Wang made his NBA debut with the Dallas Mavericks. Additionally, Bateer made NBA history as the first undrafted Chinese player.
Mengke also participated in the Nuggets’ final 25 games of the year, where he averaged 5.5 points per game while overcoming opponent fouls.
Similar to how Mengke found himself in the starting 10 of those games because the Nuggets’ roster lacked players of significant height, he became the first Chinese player to ever start an NBA game.
Nevertheless, Wang was never able to crack the starting lineup while playing with the Mavericks.
San Antonio Spurs vs. Detroit Pistons
In addition, the Denver Nuggets dealt Mengke to the Detroit Pistons and Don Reid in 2002 for Rodney White and a potential first-round pick.
Mengke led China in scoring in five of the team’s seven games during the 2002 FIBA World Championship in Indianapolis after an outstanding performance against Team USA.
Head coach of the San Antonio Spurs and USA assistant coach Gregg Popovich opted to take a risk on Mengke and acquired him in exchange for a second-round pick.
Thus, Bateer was a part of San Antonio’s 2002–2003 championship squad despite only seldom playing for the Spurs.
NBA’s recent seasons
In addition, Bateer signed with the Toronto Raptors as a free agency the following season. However, the Raptors eventually traded Mengke to the Orlando Magic, who later released him three days later.
As a result, Mengke was invited to join the New York Knicks’ training camp in October 2004 but was later released prior to the 2004–2005 NBA season.
Mengke played for the Huntsville Flight of the National Basketball Development League for a spell after being released by the Knicks until he made the decision to go back to China.
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Go back to China
In addition, Mengke returned to the Beijing Ducks in the Chinese Basketball Association in mid-February 2005, a few weeks before the conclusion of the 2004–2005 CBA season. He later won the MVP award for the 2005 CBA All-Star Game, which was played on March 7th, 2005, in Nanjing, China, after the regular season had come to an end.
Bateer led the North to a 103-99 victory over the South with a game-high 28 points.
In addition, Mengke contributed to Beijing’s 2005–2006 CBA North Division championship with an average of 11 rebounds, five assists, and 25 points per game.
Mengke was first selected by CBA as the league’s Regular Season MVP.
Nevertheless, the medal was revoked because it was against the law for athletes who received suspensions to receive any honors.
Mengke missed two games earlier in the season as a result of receiving the largest fine in CBA history for disagreeing with a referee.
Flying Tigers of Xinjiang
Bateer afterwards transferred from the Ducks to the Xinjiang Flying Tigers, where he played for the next six years of his career, although was forced to miss the 2006–2007 CBA season due to injury.
Mengke, who played for Xinjiang, became the first athlete to be named CBA Most Valuable Player in 2009, 2010, and 2011.
The Tigers also reached the CBA Finals in each of those years, but they were defeated by the Guangdong Southern Tigers each time, preventing them from taking home the championship.
Of addition, Bateer returned to the Beijing Ducks for the 2013–14 CBA season following a brief time with the Sichuan Blue Whales in China’s second-tier NBL in the summer of 2013, just as the team was getting ready to enter the CBA.
By that time in his career, Bateer was more of a supporting actor. He nevertheless occasionally contributed to Beijing’s frontcourt and assisted the Ducks in capturing their second CBA championship.
Career on a national team
Bateer has represented the Chinese basketball team in addition to playing for different NBA and CBA basketball clubs.
Additionally, Mengke represented China in competition at the Summer Olympic Games in 1996, 2000, and 2004 in Atlanta, Sydney, and Athens.
Mengke also represented the PRC at the 2002 FIBA World Championship in Indianapolis and participated in a number of FIBA Asia Championships, Asian Games, and East Asian Games games as a member of his nation’s national squad at the 2001 Summer Universiade in Beijing.
The trio of Yao Ming (7’6″), Wang Zhizhi (7’1″), and Bateer (6’11”) was dubbed the “Walking Great Wall” by certain fans and commentators.
retired Mengke Bateer
Additionally, Mengeke played a brief time in 2014 with the NBL team Shaanxi Weinan Xingda in an effort to maintain his fitness.
However, Mengke did not play in the 2014–15 CBA season because, according to reports, he was having issues with the beginnings of diabetes.
Additionally, Mengke was honored with a formal retirement ceremony on August 11th, 2015, which took place in the Beijing Wukesong Culture & Sports Center.
Former national team teammates Wang Shipeng, Zhu Fangyu, Wang Zhizhi, Du Feng, and Hakeem Olajuwon also attended the celebration.
Yao Ming also delivered a filmed farewell message, and the evening culminated with the raising of Mengke’s number 9 jersey to the arena’s rafters.
Mengke possesses two noteworthy accomplishments as of his official retirement in 2015 and is the first Chinese basketball player to have played in the NBA without being selected in any NBA draft.
Mengke is one of just two basketball players overall and the only Chinese basketball player to have played on a team that won the NBA title.
In a same vein, Bateer was the first NBA champion of Asian heritage.
Additionally, Bateer and Sun are the first and only individuals to have won both the NBA Finals and CBA Finals. They both ended up with the 2014 CBA champion Beijing Ducks.
In addition, when Bateer joined the Denver Nuggets in 2002, he became the first Chinese player to ever start an NBA game.
Mengke Bateer: Wealth
Since 1997, Banteer has competed in professional basketball. Since then, up until his retirement, he has had a rather prosperous career.
Despite the fact that he has not provided any information regarding his career earnings, based on his prior career, we can assume that-
Mengke Bateer’s estimated net worth is between $1 and $5 million.
Mengke Bateer | Wife and Children
As we know, Bateer is very secretive about his private matters. Thus, the information regarding his wife is unknown.
However, Mengke has revealed his children’s names thus far, and their names are Niu-Niu Bateer and Difeilana Bateer.
Interesting Facts about Mengke Bateer
Apart from playing basketball, Mengke had also featured in various Chinese movies called- The Blue Xanadu, Bodyguards, and Assassins, Here Comes Fortune, and Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back.