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NBA and Yao courting further success

By Sun Xiaochen | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2013-08-20 19:49

Yao Ming understands the importance of teamwork.

The 2.26-meter center appreciates the efforts of others that often led to him scoring. Say, a Tracy McGrady pass after a pick-and-roll or Chuck Hayes aggressively fending off opponents for Yao to grab a rebound.

Yao, founder of the Yao Foundation and the organizer of a charitable event in the hothouse arena of Western Anhui University last week knows there is no me in team.

The event at the Yao Foundation Primary School Basketball Season finale was enjoyed by more than 40,000 Hope School students.

But an even greater reason to celebrate might be the backing of the NBA.

In 2012, NBA China and Yao announced a comprehensive partnership to bolster youth basketball development in China.

Supported by NBA Cares, the Yao Foundation launched the inaugural Hope School Basketball Season in 2012 in 42 Hope Schools around China.

It gave underprivileged children the chance to experience the joy of basketball and the values of sportsmanship. In 2013, the Yao Foundation Hope School Basketball Season expanded to 79 Hopes Schools with the participation of more than 40,000 children.

"Yao's star power is as bright as it has ever been, especially given all the things he has committed to doing off the court," said NBA China CEO David Shoemaker, who attended the finale in Anhui.

"We will continue to work with Yao on more initiatives because I believe we are just scratching the surface."

Alongside the Hope School Basketball Season, NBA China supported the Yao Foundation Charity Game 2013 featuring seven NBA players on July 5.

The league also hosted the first-ever interactive fan event, the NBA Cares - Yao Foundation Charity Carnival, in the square outside the MasterCard Center on game day in Beijing.

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