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.
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.
Klay Thompson (left) added Olympic Gold Medalist to his resume as Team USA’s men’s basketball defeated Serbia in the final game 96-66 on August 21, to win the Gold at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Throughout the tournament Thompson averaged 9.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists, most notably scoring 30 points in one game vs rival France. A 2014 World Champion with Team USA, this was Klay’s first Olympic Games.
Matthew Dellavedova (center) and the Australian men’s basketball team sadly fell just two points short of winning their first-ever Olympic medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, finishing fourth. However, there were some very promising signs for the future of the “Boomers,” beginning with a win of their first game of the Olympics for the first time since 1996. In his second Olympic Games, Delly finished as the overall leader in in number of assists in a single game (13), second in total assists (56), and second in average assists per game (7).
With the first-ever Olympic Games in South America, Nene (right) and Team Brazil were honored to host the 2016 Games. ”When I hear the words ‘Olympic Games’ I think about the best sports tournament in the world. It’s a competition where only the top athletes compete. Knowing that we will be playing at home is a privilege…”
Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon defy gravity with their “unlimited airtime” as they were featured in Nike’s ‘Unlimited’ campaign that was released this summer, coinciding with the 2016 Olympic Games. In the ad, the duo works together to make a ‘crash test’ basket as the campaign focuses on athletes and individuals alike pushing their limits to reach their maximum potential.
On July 10, Aaron Gordon hosted his first annual Dunk Fest at the Venice Beach basketball courts. As this year’s NBA Slam Dunk runner up, Gordon was eager to bring together some of the best professional dunkers in the world to compete for a grand prize of $5,000. This event, sponsored by ZTE, was a massive success, as hundreds of fans showed up to witness the likes of Chris Staples, Kenny Dobbs, Jordan Southerland, Michael Purdie, Li Weihao and Nick Ross.
Matthew “Delly” Dellavedova teamed up with Panera Bread for an exciting promotional partnership that included hosting a “Dinner With Delly” for a lucky sweepstakes winner earlier this spring. As part of this campaign, Panera partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Cleveland. Every time the “Delly Pick” menu item (the Sierra Turkey Sandwich) was purchased, a portion of the proceeds was donated to the organization. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s LeBron’s town, sure. But with his own coffee line (G’Day Mate), the 25-year-old Cavaliers guard from Australia is attempting to leave his mark on Cleveland. And it all started because of a little (and perhaps inadvisable) coffee-related pre-game ritual. Read the rest of this entry »
Zach LaVine’s work with a school for the deaf is bringing an added benefit he never saw coming — the chance to help a new charity dedicated to his fallen coach.
LaVine was awarded the NBA Cares Community Assist Award for the month of April on Monday, an honor earned through LaVine’s work with Metro Deaf School in St. Paul. LaVine makes periodic trips to the school throughout the year and donated a portion of his winnings from the Slam Dunk contest to build a new kitchen.
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine serves breakfast to students in the Metro Deaf School’s new kitchen in St. Paul, Minn. LaVine was awarded the NBA Cares Community Assist Award for the month of April on Monday, May 9, 2016, an honor earned through LaVine’s work with Metro Deaf School in St. Paul. LaVine makes periodic trips to the school throughout the year and donated a portion of his winnings from the Slam Dunk contest to build a new kitchen. (Photo: Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP)
“Working with the Metro Deaf School this last year has been fun,” LaVine said. “The students and staff have become my friends. It’s a relationship I’m going to continue and I appreciate the NBA for the recognition and their emphasis on community outreach.”
LaVine received $10,000 to donate to his charity of choice. He chose the Flip Saunders Legacy Fund, named in honor of the former Timberwolves coach who died in October. Read the rest of this entry »
Josh Richardson #0 of the Miami Heat shakes hands with his teammates during the game against the Charlotte Hornets in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on May 1, 2016 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. (credit: Issac Baldizon, NBAE via Getty Images)
Heat rookie Josh Richardson’s college practices at Tennessee were as grueling as they get.
They involved drills with weighted vests; defensive slides with heavy medicine balls while requiring you to keep your head up the entire time; post work with defenders using boxing gloves for extra contact; and two-ball dribbling exercises the length of the court with a bungee cord behind the player for resistance and even more in front of him with a defender pushing against him. Read the rest of this entry »
School is about to be back in session for Sixers big man Jahlil Okafor.
Okafor left Duke University last year after his freshman season to enter the NBA. Next month, he will begin taking summer classes on campus to work toward the completion of his education. Read the rest of this entry »