Thursday, November 28th, 2013 at 3:20 pm  |  5 responses

Yao Ming is a Third-Year College Student in China

Retired NBA center Yao Ming is now towering over college students in China — Yao, a third-year student at Jiao Tong University, wishes he could live on campus. Per the NY Times (via Deadspin): “Carrying a lunch prepared by his wife, Ye Li, a 6-foot-3 former player in China’s professional league, Mr. Yao drives more than an hour to Jiao Tong University, where he sits through his required courses in the economics and management department. According to one Chinese news report, Mr. Yao would prefer to live in the dorms with his 20-year-old classmates, a move that would save time and energy, ‘but the beds are too small.’ … ‘When I signed my first professional contract with the Shanghai Sharks at age 17, I promised my parents that, after my basketball career ended, I would pursue my studies at the university level,’ Mr. Yao told reporters in Shanghai. Now in his third year at Jiao Tong University, Mr. Yao is less than two years away from fulfilling that promise. It hasn’t always been easy. The 33-year-old can hardly walk anywhere on campus without being swarmed by fans and reportedly complained once that one of his professors was a former high school classmate. But true to his word, Mr. Yao has diligently continued studying, taking English, journalism and finance electives in addition to his required classes. On his first day of studies in the fall of 2011, Mr. Yao told reporters: ‘I feel good today, but a little tired, since I haven’t been in class for over 10 years. I am rusty.’ [...] In 2013, he was promoted to the National Committee of the C.P.P.C.C. (Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, an advisory body to the local government) alongside military officers, government officials, state-recognized religious leaders and other prominent figures. It is unclear whether Yao’s political responsibilities pose an impediment to his studies, but last week he was photographed in Chicago accompanying Vice Prime Minister Liu Yandong, China’s highest-ranking female politician, to a Chicago Bulls game.The two shared one of the arena’s spectator boxes with Scottie Pippen, the former Chicago Bull; Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel; and other notables.”

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  • LLC#12

    Wow, he’s still only 33. Such a shame he had so many injuries, health permitting, he could have still been in the NBA with 3 or 4 seasons left! I’d have loved it if he had kept playing for China though, once a year he gets fit and dominates and then chills the rest of the year.

  • TriggaMan

    Looking at the size of his time piece he looks like the smartest man in the world

  • William

    It would be hard walking around campus at 7ft6 and also he can’t sit at the front even with his hearing problem (deaf in one ear). I’m sure he was joking about the professor being a high school peer. Five years for a post grad?

  • Ugh

    Every country, more or less, has a different level of study. Most countries only have three years for undergrad where the US has four, for example. And in most countries a good student can go straight from undergrad to PhD, which is most countries is three years.

    An ace student can be a PhD graduate by the age of 25 – if they actually want to do that. Most people prefer to get a job after graduating and then return to do a PhD later in life. But if you want to be an academic, which someone who is a college professor probably does, being 33 and a professor at a university is actually not difficult at all.

  • Tarzan Cooper

    he should join the study group. i hope he doesnt have changnesia