A Tibetan girl chases basketball dreams on 'roof of the world'
For 17-year-old Tibetan girl Cigla, playing basketball at an elevation of more than 3,000 meters is as easy as her idol LeBron James nailing an iconic slam dunk.
Cigla is a freshman student at Nagqu No 2 Senior High School in Lhasa, capital of Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region, which sits 3,650 meters above sea level.
She now plays point guard for the school's 12-member female basketball team.
"Practice makes perfect.
You get used to the elevation when you love the sport and train hard enough," said the budding basketball star, who has been passionate about the sport since taking it up three years ago.
Cigla wears wristbands, with the names of her idols LeBron James and Kobe Bryant written on them, when playing her favorite sport.
With her outstanding speed, agility and accurate passes, she never fails to shine on the basketball court, even when she faces off against the boys.
Though more than two years away from graduating high school, Cigla already has a clear picture of her future - entering a sports college to study basketball.
In the eyes of Cigla, who hails from a poor herder's family in northern Tibet's Nagqu city, studying in Lhasa, the region's most developed city, has made it much easier for her to realize her basketball dream.
With an average altitude of over 4,500 meters, Nagqu is among the most uninhabitable places in Tibet, known as the "roof of the world." Low-oxygen environments and extreme weather have long compromised the health of Nagqu students, hampering the development of primary education in the area.