Yao Ming during his election as the new president of the CBA. (Photo : Twitter)
After months of speculation, Chinese basketball legend and former NBA star Yao Ming has been officially named as the new president of the Chinese Basketball League.
Yao was unanimously voted as the new head of the CBA on Thursday, USA Today reported. It has been speculated since 2016 that the 7ft. 6in. Yao would indeed be elected to the position, but it is only recently that his nomination became evident.
He is the first non-government official to be elected to the pose, in a move that is seen as an important step towards reforming the organization.
Upon his election, Yao said that he plans to make significant improvements in the league and push more Chinese players into the international scene.
A lot of work
Yao noted in the news conference announcing his election that there are a lot of problems that needed to be tackled. "The biggest problem is that there is no 'biggest problem,'" he remarked. "The problems are everywhere."
The 36-year-old basketball star has long advocated significant reform in the CBA.
One area that Yao said he wants to focus on is the drafting and training of new players. He said that he plans to introduce more scientific methods in the training of players, borrowing from the advanced strategies being used in the international scene, Bleacher Report reported.
He added that he wants to set up exchange programs with leagues in the United States, Europe, and other countries to provide players with international exposure.
Yao, who was drafted to the NBA by the Houston Rockets in 2002, was among the several Chinese players that made waves on the international scene in the early 2000s, along with the likes of Wang Zhizhi and Menk Bateer. The three were collectively known as the Chinese national team's "Great Wall," leading the squad to three straight FIBA championships during their tenure.
The new CBA president also said that he plans to enhance the fan experience for the followers of the league.