NBA All-Star honored for fostering positive bilateral relations over past decade


Beijing, November 13 – AmCham China is proud to announce that the winner of this year’s Pioneer Award will be basketball star Stephon Marbury. The award recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the US-China relationship, and Marbury has embodied those principles since arriving here in 2010, both through exemplary leadership on the basketball court, and through a range of entrepreneurial and philanthropic ventures off it.

Marbury has had a remarkable career during his 13 seasons in the NBA and eight seasons in the CBA (Chinese Basketball Association), during which he was twice named an NBA All-Star and won three CBA rings. Marbury has also been named the CBA All-Star Game MVP (2010), the CBA Foreign MVP (2013), and the CBA Finals MBP (2015), as well as being a six-time CBA All-Star. Known throughout China by his Chinese moniker ‘Mabuli’ (马布里), he is also referred to as Commissar Ma (马政委) due to his role as mentor and coach to his teammates and youth players.

But it is off the court where Marbury has arguably made an even greater impact. In 2006, he began to manufacture low-cost sneakers under the brand of his ‘Starbury’ nickname, enabling millions of children over the ensuing decade to wear stylish and affordable shoes. In 2014, Marbury was named one of the Top 10 Model Citizens for Beijing – the first foreigner to receive the award – due to his commitment to the Beijing community and his charity work. Despite retiring from the CBA earlier this year, Marbury has remained in China, where he’s now involved in a blockchain and sports initiative, among other projects, working alongside famed Chinese media entrepreneur and philanthropist Yang Lan and her husband Bruno Wu.

“Since our breakthrough ping pong diplomacy in 1971, sports has played an important role to foster positive bilateral relations, and it’s great to see Stephon carrying that torch,” remarked William Zarit, Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China. “As we mark AmCham China’s 100th year as a chamber and also reflect on the 40th anniversary of the normalization of US-China relations, it’s a perfect time to reflect on the positive stories in our bilateral relationship, instead of obsessively focusing on the challenges.”

Ahead of receiving the AmCham China Pioneer Award, the 2018 winner Stephon Marbury said, “It’s such an honor to be recognized by the American business community here in China. Like many others here, China has truly become a second home to me. Today, more than ever, it’s important to find ways to build bridges between the US and China, and I look forward to continuing that exploration. I officially retired from professional basketball this year, but I plan to stay actively engaged in China both through coaching and through a range of exciting business ventures – and hope to work with as many people in the US-China business community here as possible!”

AmCham China’s Pioneer Award celebrates those whose professional contributions and personal characters represent America’s stories in entrepreneurship, business success, innovation, and humanity. Due to AmCham China’s mission to help advance the relationship between the US and China, the individuals selected to receive this award are usually those who have demonstrated visible contributions in promoting people-to-people relations between our two countries. Stephon Marbury will officially receive the AmCham China Pioneer Award at the chamber’s 37th Annual General Meeting on November 21.

About AmCham China

The American Chamber of Commerce in the People's Republic of China (AmCham China) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization whose membership comprises more than 3,300 individuals from 900 companies operating across China. AmCham China’s nationwide mission is to help American companies succeed in China through advocacy, information, networking and business support services. AmCham China is the only officially recognized chamber of commerce representing American business in mainland China. With offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Shenyang and Wuhan, AmCham China has more than 40 working groups, and holds more than 150 events each year. Visit our website for more information.

For more information or to arrange an interview with either AmCham Chairman William Zarit or AmCham China Pioneer Award winner Stephon Marbury at the Annual General Meeting on November 21, please contact:

Yona Yang

Tel: (8610) 8519 0831