Chinese Basketball Association elects Yao Ming as president | Inquirer Sports

Chinese Basketball Association elects Yao Ming as president

/ 03:56 PM February 23, 2017
Retired Houston Rockets center Yao Ming speaks to the media before an NBA basketball game between the Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Retired Houston Rockets center Yao Ming speaks to the media before an NBA basketball game between the Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

BEIJING, CHINA—Yao Ming has moved into management in a bid to hasten China’s basketball development.

The Chinese Basketball Association voted unanimously to appoint former Houston Rockets star as its president on Thursday, in a step toward reform for an organization which has in past been led by government bureaucrats.

ADVERTISEMENT

The CBA’s social media account quoted the Hall of Famer as saying he hoped to make improvements to the domestic league’s draft system and push more Chinese players into the international arena.

In comments after the vote, Yao said he would introduce scientific training methods to Chinese clubs, improve the tactical education of players and forge exchanges with leagues in the United States, Europe and elsewhere.

FEATURED STORIES

“Our next move will be to borrow from international advanced experience, to thoroughly study China’s actual conditions and carve ourselves a path of innovation,” Yao said. Reforms would cover all aspects of the game in China, from the national team to youth programs, he said.

Yao, 36, was one of the first Chinese athletes to become an international household name when the Houston Rockets drafted him with the first pick in 2002. The 2.29-meter (7-foot-6) center played for eight seasons in the NBA before retiring in 2011, citing chronic injuries.

A two-time Olympian, the Shanghai-born Yao was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2016. In 2009, he purchased the Shanghai Sharks, his former CBA team.

Over the past decade NBA stars such as Stephon Marbury, Tracy McGrady, J.R. Smith and Gilbert Arenas have spent one or more seasons playing in the CBA as the league grew in prominence. But Chinese sports fans say the league could be made stronger still and their country’s basketball talent pipeline remains underwhelming despite the sport’s grassroots popularity.

Yang Ming, a Chinese sports commentator, praised the appointment of Yao over a government official, saying that Yao had broad experience as a player in the NBA and a CBA club owner.

“For many years we haven’t seen any admirable or acceptable reform measures introduced by the CBA,” Yang said. “Yao Ming is not only a brilliant player, but intelligent with his independent ideas.”

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Chinese Basketball Association, Sports, Yao Ming
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our sports news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.