Beijing, May 15 (IANS) As a Chinese basketball icon, Yao Ming is fully aware of his role in promoting the sport among youngsters and growing the game at a grassroots level.
The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) president featured in an online program launched here on Friday, reports Xinhua news agency.
“Basketball is loved by teenagers and people of all ages as an interesting, team, competitive and eye-catching sport. I feel pretty honored to join this program,” said Yao.
During Friday’s course, Yao shared his story of playing basketball at a young age and his experience of interacting with children when he tutored in Sichuan in 2015.
Yao also gave advice on how to improve free throw performance.
“The key (to improving skills) is your persistence, (you need to) persevere to the end,” he noted.
After declaring the program open, Yao “passed” the ball to Wang Shaojie, who currently plays for the Beijing Royal Fighters as the CBA’s top draft pick in 2019.
Called “never stop your love for sport”, the move was initiated by the CBA, its mini basketball program, the YAO Foundation and People’s Daily, aiming at offering professional guidance on developing basketball skills for kids in school and at home.
Several CBA players, including Jeremy Lin, Zhai Xiaochuan and Guo Ailun, will appear later in the program. Other participants include Chinese women’s national team captain Shao Ting and men’s 3×3 basketball player Li Haonan.