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Yao’s appearance in Beijing still draws large crowds

April 22nd, 2012
by John

Even after retiring from basketball 10 months ago, Yao Ming still gets rock star attention in China.

On Friday in Beijing, Yao showed up at a university, and many of the students there skipped their classes and followed him around, taking photos and posting them on their microblogs.

April 19th, 2012 - Yao MIng draws a crowd at a university in Beijing

April 19th, 2012 - Yao MIng draws a crowd at a university in Beijing

Yao visited the China Youth University for Political Sciences in Beijing to announce his Foundation’s launch of the inaugural Project Hope Primary School Basketball League season.

This will be the first ever nationwide basketball league for 47 Project Hope primary schools (including the 6 Yao Foundation Project Hope Primary Schools that the Yao Foundation had built in the past 4 years, with 7 more in various construction/refurbishment stage).

In his speech, Yao said he wished through this project that it will provide — through basketball — that poor kids in some of the backward cities and provinces can participate and get new opportunities for growth and development.

Click here for more photos and information from the announcement.

Friday also happened to be the 10th anniversary of Yao’s Shanghai Sharks winning the China Basketball Association championship in a game where Yao scored 44 points on 21-of-21 shooting from the floor, grabbed 21 rebounds, and blocked 7 shots. No wonder Yao is still so admired in China.

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