A halftime ceremony honoring Yao Ming was attended by ex-teammates Tracy McGrady, Dikembe Mutombo and Shane Battier, among others. Photo: Tim Warner/Getty Images
Former NBA star Yao Ming was appointed as the new president of the China Basketball Association (CBA), the Xinhua News Agency reported on Thursday in Beijing, a sign that China’s basketball reform may embrace a new era.
Yao Ming, who was born in Shanghai, China in 1980, is the first-ever non-governmental personage to take the position, according to Xinhua.
He is a former professional basketball player who played for the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He hung his playing boots on February 4.
Gou Zhongwen who was appointed as the director of the General Administration of Sport of China in November 2016 had recommended Yao as the new president of CBA when presiding a meeting in December last year.
During a national meeting of the CBA in January this year, an assistant director of Gou Zhongwen told the media that the new standards for the new president of the CBA were almost tailored for Yao Ming, which many regarded as a sign of Yao being in contention for that position.
It is reported that the daily meetings of the CBA will be hosted by the president of the CBA in the future and members of the board of the directors and secretary general of the association should also be nominated by the president of the CBA.