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Recent Yao updates. Plus, Yao will be in Houston for All-Star festivities

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
by John

There hasn’t been much to report about Yao over the past couple of months, but we finally have a few updates for you.

Last week Yao was in South Korea for the Special Olympics World Winter Games since Yao is still a Global Ambassador for the Special Olympics.

Below he is pictured taking part in a snowshoe relay, which he says is the first time he has tried a winter sport.

January 30th, 2013 - Yao Ming participates in a snowshoe relay at the Special Olympics Winter Games in Korea

Also participating was his wife Ye Li, and international movie star Zhang Ziyi, pictured below.

January 30th, 2013 - Actress Zhang Ziyi participates in a snowshoe relay at the Special Olympics Winter Games in Korea

Click here for more photos of Yao and others running in the snowshoe relay.

The next day Yao and his wife served breakfast for the special athletes.

January 31st, 2013 - Yao Ming serves breakfast to Special Olympics athletes with wife Ye Li

Click here for more photos of Yao serving breakfast.

In case you missed it, last week the Washington Post published an interview with Yao. They provide a pretty good recap of Yao’s life after retiring from the NBA, his relationship with Jeremy Lin, and the state of basketball in China. It’s highly recommended reading. Check it out here.

Yao is now in Houston for next week’s NBA All-Star festivities where we plan to cover some of his activities here on YaoMingMania.

In addition, on Friday the 15th in Houston at the Asia Society of Texas, non-members can purchase tickets and hear about Yao’s career and his rise to global icon status during a private luncheon. Guests will also get a taste of the first vintages of the Yao Ming Napa Valley Cabernet. Click here for more details.

Yao gets dunked on by Chase…or does he? [video]

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012
by John

The video below is circulating on the Web as Chase Budinger gets ready to participate in the dunk contest this Saturday during All-Star weekend in Orlando.

You can tell it’s actually staged like some of those “reality commercials” that have become popular over the past couple of years, but you have to give credit for the humor and creativity involved, especially getting fake reporters to participate!

You can follow Chase’s adventures in Orlando (and beyond) at Facebook.com/ChaseBudinger.

Yao recognized for humanitarian efforts before All-Star game

Monday, February 16th, 2009
by John

Yesterday in Phoenix before the All-Star game, Yao Ming was recognized by his Team Yao member Bill Duffy and his agency BDA Sports for the first annual BDA Giving Award for Yao’s philanthropic efforts over the past year. Steve Nash‘s foundation was also recognized.

Duffy also contributed $5,000 to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in the memory of Leandro Barbosa‘s mother who passed away recently. Barbosa is represented by BDA Sports.

Sunday photos from Phoenix

Monday, February 16th, 2009
by John

Raymond has posted tons of photos in the forum from the All-Star game. Below Yao Ming shares a laugh with Dirk Nowitzki on the bus headed to the arena.

More photos in the forum include:
– Yao Ming and Sun Yue at NBA China Night (Saturday)
– Yao Ming at the arena (pre-game, in the game, and post-game)

Photos of Yao at the All-Star practice

Sunday, February 15th, 2009
by John

Raymond has posted in the forum photos of Yao at the Saturday practice for the West team.

Below the photos is a link to a video interview that Yao conducted with Craig Sager on Saturday.

Sorry for the brevity, but I’m writing this blog on my iPhone as I make my way to Phoenix for some All-Star activities on Sunday. More to come on Sunday.

Yao already busy in Phoenix

Saturday, February 14th, 2009
by John

Raymond has posted lots of photos in the forum of Yao and other NBA players, including Luis Scola and Aaron Brooks, in Phoenix for All-Star weekend events.

Click here for more photos of Yao and other players in Phoenix.

Here Yao Ming works with one of many university exchange students from Sichuan at a Phoenix school in some cleanup work as part of the NBA Cares program. Raymond has written a nice write-up of how this student was selected to come to Phoenix.

Yao in his All-Star uni

Friday, January 23rd, 2009
by John

Raymond has found photos of Yao in his All-Star uniform that he’ll be wearing February 15th in Phoenix.

Click here for more photos.

Nuggets from New Orleans

Monday, February 18th, 2008
by John

Yesterday I was able to take in a few hours in New Orleans before the All-Star game, which I didn’t attend. I understand tickets in the lower level had a $400 face value, and were $300 in the upper level! A ticket “reseller” later told me on the plane back home that the demand for after-market tickets to this All-Star game was probably the lowest he’s ever seen, due to the fact there just aren’t that many people in New Orleans who have that kind of cash to throw around.

I suspect another reason had to be the limited number of flights that fly into New Orleans compared to larger cities. Still, even if I could get a ticket at face value (or even lower than face value based on low demand), I was content to watch the game on TV.

One of the main reasons why I went to New Orleans for the day was because Yao Ming’s agent invites folks associated with their athletes to attend an annual brunch they have the morning of each All-Star game. Since working on the site is more a labor of love for me than a financial windfall, it’s always nice to get a little perk like that from Bill Duffy & Associates (BDA).

When I walked into the House of Blues where the brunch was held, the first person I saw was Colin Pine, former translator for Yao Ming, who I hadn’t seen in a couple of years. Colin was in town for the game since he is working in China for the NBA.

Also with him was Christopher Chen and Adam Del Deo, producers of the “The Year of the Yao” film. It was great to get caught up with the guys who followed Yao so closely those first couple of years of Yao’s NBA career. It seems so much more calm now compared to the crazy days of 2002 and 2003.

Read the rest of this entry »

Yao takes it easy in the Big Easy, scores 6 in All-Star game

Monday, February 18th, 2008
by John

Because he had been playing alot of minutes before the break, Yao requested that Western Conference coach Byron Scott play him limited minutes in the All-Star game Sunday night. Scott obliged by letting Yao just play 13 minutes. Yao scored 6 points on 2-of-5 shooting from the field, including 0-for-2 from three-point land.

Here he launches one of those 3-pointers with a smile on his face (he’s obviously having a good time):

I ended up going to New Orleans for the afternoon (didn’t attend the game) and have some interesting non-Yao stories to share. I got in so late, though, I’m pretty beat to write about it now. But I’ll post some of those stories on Monday.

Meanwhile, Raymond and other YaoManiacs has done a great job posting tons of cool photos in the YaoMania! forum from the weekend.

Click here to see the page (#2 in the thread) with photos of Yi Jianlian, as well as Yao watching the Rookie-Sophomore game Friday night.

Click here to see the page (#3 in the thread) with photos of Yao at the All-Star practice on Saturday, and cool photos of Dwight Howard during the slam dunk competition (as well as other participants from All-Star competitions on Saturday night).

Click here to see the page (#4 in the thread) of photos from the NBA All-Stars China Night attended by Yao, Dikembe Mutombo and Yi Jianlian (among others). Scroll down this page to see Yao in the locker room on Sunday before the game.

Click here for the page (#5 in the thread) of photos of Yao playing in the All-Star game Sunday night.

Thanks for the pics Raymond and folks!

Yao rolls up his sleeves in New Orleans

Friday, February 15th, 2008
by John

Below is one of my favorite pictures of Yao from Friday’s All-Star events in New Orleans. Not him being interviewed by the press (although he had to do that earlier in the day) which we have seen time and time again. Not reading a children’s book with just as many photographers as kids around.

No, it’s of Yao outside in cold rainy weather getting his hands dirty lifting and planting sod with actor Jet Li. It’s so representative of Yao’s hard work ethic to take on this assignment. Bravo, Yao.

Click here for more photos of Yao with Jet Li volunteering. Scroll up on the following page to see Yao and other NBA players getting interviewed.

Thanks go to Raymond for the pics!