Two-time NBA All-Star Stephon Marbury will become the highest profile American to play in the Chinese Basketball Association after he agreed to join the league’s Shanxi club.


The 32-year-old, a free agent since leaving the Boston Celtics last season, had agreed to a deal with the northern club and would arrive in Shanxi next week, the team announced on its official Web site.

“The aim of signing Marbury is to pay back our fans and try to win more games in the rest of the season,” said Shanxi boss Wang Xingjiang.

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The 2001 and 2003 NBA All-Star was expected to help boost Shanxi’s ticket sales as well as their chances of making the playoffs. Shanxi is currently 15th in the 17-team league.

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In an interview posted on Shanxi’s Web site, Marbury said he wasn’t daunted by the language barrier.

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“I’ll communicate with the fans through my basketball,” Marbury said. “I think this will be a unique experience. To go overseas to play ball, to live, for me it’s a challenge.”

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