Wed, Mar 27, 2013 @ 6:30pm - 9:00pm

9-MAN is a feature documentary about an isolated and exceptionally athletic Chinese-American sport that's much more than a pastime.


Join us for a preview of the documentary and panel with filmmaker Ursula Liang, nine-man athletes, and historians for a look into this intense and secret fraternity.


Moderated by Devin Gordon from GQ

NINE-MAN is a streetball game played in Chinatown by Chinese-American and Chinese-Canadian men. It’s fast, chaotic, unpredictable, grueling; the rules are distinct and exist no where else in the world—imagine volleyball with 18 guys, dunks, and bloodied elbows. This is a sport that is completely unique to Chinese-Americans and therefore something very special to those who play it. Why haven’t you heard of it? Because it’s played only by men. And two-thirds of the players have to be “100% Chinese”. And perhaps because good things are often kept secret. If you’re not part of the nine-man community, you may have no idea what an incredible scene it is. We’re trying to change that. After decades of mainstream obscurity, it’s time for people to get to know this colorful corner of Chinatown.

About the Filmmaker

Ursula Liang (Director, Producer, Cinematographer) is a journalist who has told stories in a wide range of media. A former staff editor at T: The New York Times Style Magazine and writer/reporter at ESPN The Magazine, Liang was a host of the radio program Asia Pacific Forum on WBAI, associate producer for the Emmy-nominated documentary, "Wo Ai Ni Mommy", producer for the Emmy-nominated Asian American TV show "Stir", and sports editor for the Asian-American magazine, Hyphen. She recently produced for Fuel’s “UFC Countdown”, FX’s “UFC Primetime” and the independent documentary “Fighting Foster”. Liang grew up in Newton, MA and lives in The Bronx, NY. She played club volleyball at the University of Michigan.


About the Panelists

Ursula Liang, filmmaker

Frank Gee, nine-man athlete

Frank Gee is Vice-Commander of the American Legion for New York State and serves on a national American Legion sub-committee on immigration. In the 1960’s Frank helped start the New York Vikings nine-man club, and he played from 1956 to 1997--a career spanning the ages of 17 to 60. His commitment to youth recreation inspired him to co-found the Chinatown YMCA. A graduate of NYU’s School of Engineering, Frank worked as a systems specialist for Merrill Lynch for many years and ran the Jade Fountain, Inc.--a restaurant chain of three full service and three fast food restaurants in New York and New Jersey--for over 20 years. He has volunteered extensively in Chinatown and serves as president of the Gee Family Association. He is also a Senior Tax Advisor for H&R Block.

Wayne Chow, nine-man athlete

Wayne Chow is an accountant who grew up in Syosset, Long Island. He played varsity volleyball at Baruch College and was introduced to nine-man in his final year of school. Wayne has played outside, fastball and 2-ball for the NY Strangers association for six years and coached the team for the last two of those seasons. Currently he organizes the July NYMini tournament in Seward Park and the club’s tournament trips to other cities. Wayne also coached the women’s volleyball team from 2008 to 2010.


Allen Wong, nine-man coach and player

Allen Wong, nine-man coach and player is a service technician for Verizon and a native of New York's Chinatown. He started playing nine-man when he was 16 years old and has been involved with the community for the past 35 years. Currently, he runs the New York Chinese Freemasons' sports programs and plays for and coaches the men's nine-man team. Through his career has been a back row specialist, suicide and setter for the Freemasons, the New York Vikings and the New York Strangers. He is a sports junkie and loves the Yankees.


Devin Gordon, articles editor

Devin Gordon is the articles editor for GQ Magazine, where he covers sports, culture, politics, and just about every other subject in the men's monthly universe. In addition to his editing duties, he wrote GQ's September 2012 cover story about Tim Tebow. Prior to joining GQ, Gordon spent more than a decade at Newsweek Magazine, writing several cover stories on sports and popular culture before shifting into news editing ahead of the 2008 presidential election, during which he ran the magazine's front-of-book section and received a National Magazine Award nomination for "best magazine section" in 2009. He also served as the editor of Newsweek.com before leaving for GQ in May 2010. Gordon earned a bachelors degree in English from Duke University and is originally from Peekskill, NY. He now lives in Brooklyn with his wife and daughter. Follow him on Twitter @devingo913.


Jack (John Kuo Wei) Tchen, founding director of the A/P/A (Asian/Pacific/American) Studies Program and Institute at New York University and co-founder of the Museum of Chinese in America

Jack (John Kuo Wei) Tchen is the founding director of the A/P/A (Asian/Pacific/American) Studies Program and Institute at New York University and part of the original founding faculty of the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, NYU. He co-founded the Museum of Chinese in America in 1979-80 where he continues to serve as senior historian. He regularly collaborates with filmmakers and media producers, artists and collectors, and through the A/P/A Institute sponsors and produces hundreds of programs and performances. Most recently, he co-curated MoCA's core exhibition: "With a single step: stories in the making of America" in a new space designed by Maya Lin.


Admission:$12/ $7 MOCA members

RSVP required to programs@mocanyc.org