Wed, July 28, 2010
Sports > Basketball > The Yao Ming Foundation

Yao Ming: eager to back in NBA games

2010-07-27 12:48:33 GMT2010-07-27 20:48:33 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Taipei mayor Hau Lung-pin (R) presents a souvenir to Chinese basketball star and Houston Rockets center Yao Ming during a press conference for Yao Foundation Charity Tour in Taipei, southeast China's Taiwan, July 27, 2010. (Xinhua/Wu Ching-teng)

Chinese basketball star and Houston Rockets center Yao Ming (C) addresses a press conference for Yao Foundation Charity Tour in Taipei, southeast China's Taiwan, July 27, 2010. (Xinhua/Wu Ching-teng)

Chinese basketball star and Houston Rockets center Yao Ming (C) attends a press conference for Yao Foundation Charity Tour in Taipei, southeast China's Taiwan, July 27, 2010. The Taipei stage activity of Yao Foundation Charity Tour will be held at Taipei Arena July 28. (Xinhua/Wu Ching-teng)

TAIPEI, July 27 (Xinhua) -- Chinese basketball star Yao Ming said here Tuesday he was looking forward to being back in the game after a year of recovery from his foot injury.

Yao, who is in Taipei for a charity exhibition game, told a press conference that he had recovered quite well from the injury after a year of treatment.

"When I return to Houston, I will start training," he said. "In the past year, I have been working very hard so that I could play again."

But he did not answer whether he would play in the coming new season starting October.

About 40 days away from his 30th birthday, Yao said he hoped to continue playing basketball after turning 30 and also engage in managing the Shanghai Sharks, a team in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), which he bought in 2009.

"Managing the team is another way to realize my ideas about basketball and sustain my dream," he said.

Also, he said, if he retired, he would like to "travel around the world."

Yao will lead a charity exhibition game in Taipei on Wednesday, a part of the Yao Foundation Charity Tour. The exhibition game will feature a host of NBA big names, including Brandon Jennings from the Bucks, Hasheem Thabeet from the Memphis Grizzlies, DaJuan Summers from the Detroit Pistons as well as Amir Johnson from the Toronto Raptors.

Players from Taiwan's Super Basketball League and the Shanghai Sharks will form a team and take on the NBA-star team on Wednesday evening.

In order to fulfill his desire to help Chinese children in need, the Houston Rocket center started the Yao Foundation in 2008 and has worked with Project Hope to build six elementary schools in the past two years.

"The best way to help children in remote and poverty-stricken regions is to give them better education," Yao said.

Project Hope is a Chinese public service project organized by the China Youth Development Foundation (CYDF) and the Communist Youth League (CYL) Central Committee. Started in Oct. 30, 1989, it aims to build schools in poverty-stricken rural areas of China, to help children whose families are too poor to support them to complete elementary school education.

Yao Foundation also planned to set up scholarships and sponsor projects to improve children's health, Yao said.

At the same press conference, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, claiming himself to be a fan of Yao, welcomed Yao's second visit after the one in 2007 and hoped, through Yao, to invite more NBA players to visit Taipei.

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