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Yao Ming Appointed President of Chinese Basketball Association

The Chinese Basketball Association voted unanimously to appoint former Houston Rockets star Yao Ming as its president on Thursday.

Yao Ming named President of Chinese Basketball Association (credit- FIBA) edited

The CBA’s social media account quoted the Hall of Famer as saying he hoped to make improvements to the domestic league’s draft system and push more Chinese players into the international arena.

In comments after the vote, Yao said he would introduce scientific training methods to Chinese clubs, improve the tactical education of players and forge exchanges with leagues in the United States, Europe and elsewhere.

“Our next move will be to borrow from international advanced experience, to thoroughly study China’s actual conditions and carve ourselves a path of innovation,” Yao said. Reforms would cover all aspects of the game in China, from the national team to youth programs, he said.

Yao, 36, was one of the first Chinese athletes to become an international household name when the Houston Rockets drafted him with the first pick in 2002. The 2.29-meter (7-foot-6) center played for eight seasons in the NBA before retiring in 2011, citing chronic injuries.

A two-time Olympian, the Shanghai-born Yao was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2016. In 2009, he purchased the Shanghai Sharks, his former CBA team. Read the rest of this entry »

Houston Rockets Retire Yao Ming’s No. 11 Jersey During Halftime Ceremony at the Toyota Center

NY Daily News

Yao Ming became just the sixth Houston Rockets player to have his number retired by the franchise on Friday night.

Yao’s No. 11 jersey was hung from the rafters of the Toyota Center alongside Hakeem Olajuwon’s No. 34, Clyde Drexler’s No. 22, Moses Malone’s No. 24, Calvin Murphy’s No. 23 and Rudy Tomjanovich’s No. 45 in a halftime ceremony during the Rockets’ game against the Bulls.

“Thinking back on the years I spent here, I just think of the entire team, organization and the city as a big family,” Yao said before the ceremony. “I feel so welcome here, and tonight is very special to me.”

A 7-foot-6 center from Shanghai, Yao was the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2002 and was an eight-time All-Star, playing nine seasons in Houston before retiring in 2011 due to constant injuries.

He averaged 19.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks a game and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in September.

“It was really sad for me that his career was cut so short because I think if he had been able to stay on, we would have been able to win a couple of championships,” Rockets owner Les Alexander said. “He’s a great human being and a great basketball player.”

Fellow Rockets stars Olajuwon, Dikembe Mutombo and Shane Battier attended the ceremony for Yao, as did NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and other league officials.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner declared Feb. 2 “Yao Ming Day” and welcomed Yao as the city’s goodwill ambassador, an appointment he received from former Mayor Annise Parker in 2013.

Kaminsky and Okafor Named Make 2017 NBA Rising Stars Roster

Congratulations to NBA Sophomores Frank Kaminsky (Hornets) & Jahlil Okafor (76ers), who have been named to the U.S. Team for the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge!  The 2017 NBA All-Star Rising Stars Challenge event will take place on Fri, Feb. 17.

 BDA image- Jahlil and Frank


Aaron Gordon is back and ready for the 2017 All-Star Dunk Contest

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A runner-up last year, but easily the star of the show with his creativity and acrobatics in dunking, Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon will get another chance at taking home the NBA Slam Dunk Contest title at the NBA All-Star Game later this month.

The NBA announced the participants on Thursday for this year’s dunk contest during State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, which will be held Feb. 18 at New Orleans’ Smoothie King Arena. Gordon, Orlando’s third-year forward, should be a heavy favorite while competing against Los Angeles Clippers’ center DeAndre Jordan, Indiana forward Glen Robinson III and Phoenix rookie forward Derrick Jones Jr.

“It’s incredibly special just to be out there,’’ Gordon said of competing on the dunk contest stage with all eyes on him. “You have to trust your skills. To grow up wanting to be in the dunk contest and then to finally be doing it, performing at a high level, it’s an incredible feeling…’’

Gordon, who has played predominantly at small forward this season after playing power forward in his first two NBA seasons, has also evolved into Orlando’s best defender this season. He’s had defensive success against superstar players such as Chris Paul, James Harden, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum this season. He isn’t worried about being tagged as just a “dunker.’’

“I’m not worried about that because people will put labels where they see fit,’’ Gordon said. “The reputation of me being a dunker, that’s fine. I have plenty of other tools in my bag and aspects of my game that I’m not concerned about that. That’s just one more label for me – and he dunks.’’

Read the full article: Aaron Gordon Selected to Compete in NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Return of the Dragon: How the All-NBA Goran Dragic is Spearheading Miami’s Winning Streak

Vice Sports

return-of-the-dragon-how-the-all-nba-goran-dragic-is-spearheading-miamis-winning-streak-body-image-1485903671 (Steve Mitchell- USA Today Sports)

After Monday night’s win over Brooklyn, the Miami Heat have won eight games in a row. If they beat the

visiting Hawks on Wednesday, it’ll be their longest winning streak since the Big Three rattled off 27 in a row during the year in which LeBron James captured his final title in Miami. An injury-ravaged Miami had started the season 11-30 and trade rumors clouded the Caribbean air, but Miami has gone from jockeying with Boston (by way of Brooklyn) in the Markelle Fultz/Lonzo Ball Draft Lottery Sweepstakes to an outside chance at a playoff berth. They’re only 4.5 games back of Charlotte for the eighth seed, and it’s their point guard that’s led the way.

Goran Dragic currently has his highest player efficiency rating and true shooting percentage since 2014, when he was All-NBA third team selection, and he’s doing it despite the highest usage percentage of his career. Dragic is averaging 22.9 points per game during the streak, and connecting on better than 53 percent of his attempts from the field; he’s shooting 45.6 percent from downtown. His true shooting percentage in that span is 62.7, which dwarfs even that 2013-14 campaign. What’s surprising about this breakout is that it wasn’t clear until January, really, that this incarnation of Dragic still existed. Read the rest of this entry »

Andrew Wiggins Loves Ping Pong, Hates Poutine, And Could Care Less About Playing Jordan One-On-One

COMPLEX

For a guy not known for showing much emotion on the court, Andrew Wiggins can’t stop smiling now that he’s off it. Because on his night off and on this floor of the Complex offices, he’s got a paddle in his hand, Drake’s blaring from the speakers, and he’s working his opponent across the table.Andrew Wiggins- Complex article, Dec 2016

The Timberwolves forward low-key loves ping pong and it turns out he’s pretty good at it. In New York a day early to play the Knicks, Wiggins could be doing whatever he wants. Instead, the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft chose to get in a few games. Wiggins might serve illegally (claims his overmatched opponent, First We Feast editor Justin Bolois) but the baller’s smiling as he smashes winners like it’s nothing.

And that’s when you notice it; the ear-to-ear grin that makes him look like a 12-year-old kid rather than a 21-year-old burgeoning NBA superstar. It’s the Wiggins NBA fans rarely get to see—affable and animated. An hour later when’s he’s done, Wiggins says he’s headed back to his hotel and not out to enjoy the city’s nightlife. He’s got video games to play, he says, flashing that coy, toothy smile. Plus he already had dinner—his favorite, Chipotle.

But before peacing out, the kid sits down for an interview. He plugs in his music, cues up something one of his boys from the UK put him on to that sounds like Skepta but isn’t, and answers questions about the first time he dominated on a basketball court, his native Canada, Degrassi, and the (so far) dunk of the year.

Read the rest of the article and interview, here: http://www.complex.com/sports/2016/12/andrew-wiggins-ping-pong

A Family Affair: Blazers’ Evan Turner Discusses Real Cubs Love

ET w great grandma at Cubs game

 

Evan Turner sat down with Bleacher Report to discuss his love for the Chicago Cubs and how he grew up

going to games with his great-grandmother (pictured). When the Cubs won the 2016 World Series, it was truly a family affair.

 

Bleacher Report

Twenty-eight-year old former No. 2 pick (2010) Evan Turner grew up in Chicago watching Cubs games with his great-grandmother, Vater Mae Fite, between outdoor summer hoop sessions. For decades, he and his great-grandma, now 102, watched the team fall short of its ultimate goal.

But the Cubs claimed a long-awaited World Series triumph over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday in a thrilling Game 7. Bleacher Report caught up with Turner to reflect on his early days in Chicago and what the team’s championship means for his friends, his family and the Chicago community.

Read the full article here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2673993-a-family-of-diehards-trail-blazers-evan-turner-discusses-real-cubs-love

Wiggins & LaVine Land Eastbay Magazine Cover Stories

 

Zach and Andrew Eastbay 60p

Andrew Wiggins landed an October cover of Eastbay Magazine, in which the third year player talked about

his off-season workout with his trainer, goals for the new season and the recent launch of his signature adidas shoe, “Crazy Explosive.”
Read the full article here: 
http://blog.eastbay.com/sports/basketball/dynamic-duo-inside-andrew-wiggins-relationship-trainer/

 

Zach LaVine was also featured on the cover of Eastbay Magazine in late October.  In his “Getting to Know Zach LaVine” feature, the Timberwolves guard reflected on the hard work that led him to where he is today, talks about his close-knit family and his preparation for his third NBA season.
Read the full article here: http://blog.eastbay.com/sports/basketball/getting-know-zach-lavine/?SID=9025&cm_mmc=Social-_-Twitter-_-Blog-_-gettingknowzachlavine

October Highlights: BDA Athletes in the Community

October highlights- BDA Athletes in the Community

Yao Ming Inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame

NBA legend Yao Ming was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame on September 9th. Joined by his fellow inductees, family and friends, the All Star reflected on his NBA journey and how it made him the person he is today. Yao was selected No. 1 overall by the Houston Rockets in the 2002 NBA Draft and averaged 19 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 486 career games. He was named to the All Star team every year he played and led his team to the playoffs four times.

yao-ming-hall-of-fame-speech

While he has left a lasting impact on the game of basketball, Yao’s legacy doesn’t stop there. Yao works tirelessly for his own foundation, providing assistance to disadvantaged youth and funding the construction of more than 9,000 primary schools in China. Other causes close to his heart are the protection of African elephants and he also spearheaded a movement in China to raise awareness to enforce a ban on shark fin soup.

Yao is set to graduate in June from the Antai Economics and Management College of Shanghai Jiaotong University and remains busy working with NBA China, running Yao Family Wines and owning the Shanghai Sharks.

WATCH: Yao Ming’s Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement speech

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