Published October 16, 2013
Yao Ming speaks at a press conference Tuesday in Beijing.
NBA China and former NBA player Yao Ming on Tuesday announced a partnership to develop and operate the first NBA Yao School in Beijing. The announcement was made at the MasterCard Center in Beijing attended by NBA Commissioner David Stern, NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, NBA China CEO David Shoemaker and Ming. The NBA Yao School, launching in February, will provide after-school basketball training and fitness programs for boys and girls up to age 16. The school aims to teach the importance of teamwork, leadership and communication. The NBA will create the basketball training curriculum and operations manual, and select a technical director to manage the program. Yao will be responsible for developing and operating the school. NBA players will make visits to the school to provide instruction on basketball techniques, strength and conditioning, nutrition and player development. The first program will launch at the Wukesong Basketball Park in February and run through May (NBA
). Also, The NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper wrote on the Hangtime blog that Stern "raised the possiblity" that the league will adjust the start time for some games in an effort to appease fans outside of North America. Stern said, “I think that the NBA is going to have to wrestle over the next decade as more and more of our viewing audiences are outside the United States is what’s the best time for games to be played so that those fans can enjoy them live as opposed to having to get up in China to watch an NBA game at 7 o’clock in the morning. I think that’s a fun problem that we’re going to be addressing because so much viewing is happening outside the United States now.” A dramatic change "would obviously be met with resistance from fans" in the U.S. and Canada, along with "some of the teams themselves" (NBA.com