Eight-time NBA All-Star, Olympian and global icon Yao Ming returned to the United States for the NBA’s All-Star weekend in Houston followed by a short trip to Los Angeles where he was honored by Asia Society Sothern California. While in Houston, Yao Ming stayed busy. Yao visited the Houston Zoo to talk to students about the work he is doing with WildAid. Yao stopped to feed many of the animals and then finished the day in the zoo’s education center where he showed a video of the amazing work that WildAid does. WildAid is a wildlife conservation non-profit focusing on reducing the demand for endangered species products.
The Asia Society of Texas then honored Yao during a luncheon. At the event, Yao gave an exclusive interview with ESPN analyst Jay Williams about his career and the great work that he is doing not only in China, but worldwide.
Yao then participated in the NBA’s Day of Service in the 5th Ward of Houston. He teamed up with other NBA greats, Dikembe Mutumbo, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan to help build a new playground for the community. After his Day of Service, Yao headed to Houston’s City Hall where he was officially proclaimed a Goodwill Ambassador and given a key to the city by the Mayor. To wrap up an amazing weekend, Yao was one of the judges for the 2013 NBA Slam Dunk Contest.
While in Los Angeles, Yao was honored with the “Visionary of the Year” award from Asia Society Southern California (ASSC). ASSC is a leading non-profit, non-partisan, pan-Asian organization dedicated to strengthening relationships and promoting understanding among the people of Southern California and Asia/Pacific.
Los Angeles Lakers Guard Steve Nash also attended the gala to support Yao and his philanthropic career. Nash provided opening remarks during the ceremony.
For more information on ASSC, please visit http://asiasociety.org/southern-california