Tag Archives: Yao Ming

Yao Ming and Michael Phelps Help Raise Big Funds at Mission Hills Pro-Am

World Celebrity Pro-Am Golf Tournament Raises US$500,000 for Yao Ming and UNICEF

Mission Hills Group, one of China’s leading golf and tourism operators, announced that the 2012 Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am has raised a total of US$500,000 for the tournament’s charitable partners — Yao Ming and UNICEF.

Some of the biggest names in Hollywood and the international sports scene descended on the tropical island of Hainan in southern China for the three day spectacular.

Billed as ‘China’s top entertainment event of the year,’ Celebs in attendance included: Yao Ming, Michael Phelps, Ronaldo, Stephen Hendry, Pat Cash, Andy Garcia, Adrien Brody, Ryan Reynolds, Minka Kelly, Matt Kuchar, Darren Clarke, Michael Campbell, Simon Dyson, Ian Woosnan, and Tony Jacklin.


Commenting on the donation, former NBA star Yao Ming said, “I’m extremely grateful to Mission Hills and everybody involved with this fantastic event for making this donation. We’ll continue to improve the lives of children both in China and the US and these funds will go directly towards projects we’ve got underway in these countries.” (Yao even received a custom-made golf club for the event) Continue reading

Athletes and Celebrities to Enjoy ‘A Wild Night’ for WildAid

Celebrities and athletes are planning on ‘A Wild Night’ in San Francisco, May 11 at Terra, 511 Harrison St, San Francisco.

“NBA All-Stars”, Pierce Brosnan, Bo Derek, Li Bing Bing, and Larry King will appear as presenters during this year’s A Wild Night – A Benefit for WildAid.

The event will honor internet pioneer James H. Clark for his generous support of multiple wildlife and marine organizations through the James H. Clark Charitable Foundation. Generous support is an understatement…he has also been a major funder and producer of several special projects, initiatives and films such as the award winning film about dolphins, The Cove. Continue reading

Yao Ming Retires With Promise of Continuing Charity Work

Yao Ming Retires With Promise of Continuing Charity Work

“I am ending my athletic career and am retiring from basketball,” Yao said through an interpreter at a plush Pudong hotel on Wednesday. “Basketball has given me so much. It has led me to a bigger and brighter stage to showcase my abilities…with a well-functioned Yao Foundation, I’ll try to promote charity work not only in my circle of friends but also for the whole society, to help more people. I’m very thankful for what life has taught me…To live a better life is the best way to say thanks, I think.”

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On August 2, 2008, I wrote about an interview ESPN did with Yao and Dikembe, in part I quoted Yao about his inspiration:
“ What inspires me are the stories that have come out. There is a picture on a website of a teacher who, when the earthquake was happening, put four kids under a table and put his body on top of the table. When the school wall came down, the teacher died but the kids were saved. You can’t stay away when you hear stories like that. When my foundation raises the money to rebuild those schools, we’re going to name the schools after those teachers.”

Here’s another favorite about how the NBA cut Yao’s Foundation out of the charity loop in 2009, with Yao’s response being: “I know, it’s all about 2010, they (NBA) have rules. All we want to do is help people who were hurt by the earthquake in the Sichuan Province.”

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No doubt, Yao Ming will have plenty of time to use ‘the bigger stage’ to continue his humanitarian work. Unencumbered by the long-arm of the NBA law, Yao can only flourish in his efforts. There will never be another player who so effectively bridged the hoops gap between China and the US. Even his fans have started a ‘movement’ to convince the Huston Rockets to build a bronze statute of Yao.

    Inspired by monument of retired NBA star Hakeem Olajuwon in front of the main entrance to the Toyota Center, home arena of the Rockets, Yao’s fans have suggested the Rockets give the same treatment to the Chinese player. “We will collect signatures among Chinese fans and write a petition letter to the Rockets,” Huang said. “Probably we will do fundraising events for a Yao statue.”’(China Daily)

And of course, the best part of Yao’s retirement is his promise to continue his charity work:

“I will keep devoting myself to social charity work…the Yao Foundation, launched three years ago, is a project named after me. I promise here that it will keep going on,” said Yao. The Yao Foundation has built 16 basketball courts and has donated millions of dollars to build schools around China. “With a well-functioned Yao Foundation, I’ll try to promote charity work not only in my circle of friends but also for the whole society, to help more people. I’m very thankful for what life has taught me…To live a better life is the best way to say thanks, I think.”

Yao has donated earthquake victims…is a Goodwill Ambassador of the international wildlife conservation organization “WildAid”…represents China’s AIDS Prevention Campaign and the NBA’s “Basketball Without Borders” and “Read to Achieve” programs and promotes bone marrow donation. (Yao Ming Foundation)

I really don’t know what to say aside from thank you Yao Ming….thank you for being an exceptional role model, a wicked baller when you played, and a cultural icon whose legacy will inspire for generations.

As always, thanks for reading~
delinda@athlebrities.com

Yao Ming Will Only Discuss Charity

Yao Ming Will Only Discuss Charity

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Can we please get some more athlebrities like NBA star/humanitarian Yao Ming? The Houston Rocket becomes a restricted free agent July 1, and despite being battered with questions about his ankle, Yao won’t discuss it, instead, he ‘declined to answer questions about his plans at an appearance on behalf of the Special Olympics on Sunday, saying he didn’t want to discuss anything not related to his work with the charity.’

Again, I hear Salt ‘N’ Pepa singing in the background.

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Prior to his Special Olympics appearance, the mighty-mighty good man attended Friday’s completion ceremony of the Jiuquan special education school, which received a donation of 2.5 million yuan ($385,000) from the Yao Foundation and the Shanghai Special-care Foundation after breaking ground in 2009. (China Daily)

As always, thanks for reading~
delinda@athlebrities.com

Yao Ming Foundation Cut Out of the Loop by the NBA

Yao Ming Foundation Cut Out of the Loop by the NBA
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The Yao Ming Foundation has been cut out of the charity loop and is no longer one of the beneficiaries of next week’s Tux & Tennies Charity Gala. Apparently, there are some new “NBA Guidelines” is place to prevent salary-cap circumvention…now, I’m not going to pretend that I’m well versed on all these ‘rules’ but apparently, because Yao can opt out of his contract with the Rockets after the 2009-10 season, the ‘league’ office said donations to his foundation could be interpreted as influencing negotiations. “I know, it’s all about 2010,” Yao said. “They have rules. All we want to do is help people who were hurt by the earthquake in the Sichuan Province.”

The NBA is also claiming that after the Rockets named Yao’s Foundation as a beneficiary, commissioner David Stern’s office received complaints from several other NBA teams…if I were to guess…my money would be on the Cav’s and the Lakers as the cry babies who messed it up for Yao. “We appreciate the league’s position and will work with them and will certainly abide by their wishes and work according to their direction on how we can make the event as successful as possible while supporting Yao to the best that we can,” said Tad Brown, Rockets chief executive officer.

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This is straight-up BS if you ask me. Even though the proceeds from the event still go to charity, the Rockets have one of the hottest rosters in the NBA-in terms of charitable work. Between Dikembe Mutombo, Tracy McGrady, Shane Battier, Yao, and yes, even Ron Artest, they’ve got some mighty-mighty fine men shooting hoops, helping kids, and bettering humanity.

Since 1996, the Tux & Tennies Gala has raised nearly $5 million. Last year and in 2006, proceeds benefited the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation, with a portion of the proceeds being used to help build the Women & Children’s Center of the Biamba Maria Mutombo Hospital. The NBA takes issues because Deke twice signed free-agent contracts to return to the Rockets during that period. GOOD. That’s how it should be. Wouldn’t it be great to see the NBA encouraging free-agent signing by greasing players-foundations with hefty donations? Or would you prefer to see players driving around in $100,000 vehicles purchased with bonus money or bribe money or whatever you want to call it?

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I’d like to see players hold out from signing unless there is a guaranteed yearly donation to the players foundation or charity of choice. But hey, that’s just me…

Proceeds from the event this year will go to the ‘Bush-Clinton Coastal Recovery Fund’ and to various organizations providing humanitarian relief to earthquake victims in China…

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

MATT BARNES IGNITES MELEE?

MATT BARNES IGNITES MELEE?
Never saw this one coming… sweet Suns forward Matt Barnes and his fabulous tattoos got the boys fired up during the Suns-Rocket game. Barnes ignited the flurry after taking a ‘cheap shot’ at Rockets guard Rafer Alston…never thought in a million years I’d see Tracy McGrady, Steve Nash, Yao Ming and Shaq-daddy contributing to such an entertaining mess.

No punches were thrown and no players left the benches. Matt Barnes explains…”I tried to get through a screen, and I guess I was too rough for him, so he tried to retaliate,” Barnes said. “It was just a bunch of pushing, I didn’t think anyone should have gotten thrown out because there were no punches thrown. But the refs did what they thought was necessary.”

AOL Fan House asked Barnes if he thought that maybe Alston overreacted to the initial play; he wasn’t sure. “I don’t really know what he was thinking, he thinks he’s tough so … I don’t know really. He ran up on me, and, it was really just a bunch of pushes. No one threw any punches, no one did anything serious. But the refs had to get control of the game so they figured throwing us out would do that…I thought you had to throw a punch to get kicked out of a game, really. All I did was push him, and he pushed me, I mean, T-Mac pushed Steve all the way to the ground and didn’t get thrown out of the game, so …”

So…let’s hear from the other real-fake-brawling babe, Alston: “He (Barnes) just took a cheap shot at me. If you look at the replay, the ref is standing there watching it. It was a dirty play, he raised his arm. Good thing he didn’t connect and knock my teeth out. I was just setting a screen, we were trying to get two for one … I don’t know if he was frustrated by his game or their game or or whatever was going on, but there was no call for that. There was no call for my reaction really but sometimes, when someone goes at you like that, you just react.”

Boys will indeed be boys…

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As always, thanks for reading.
Delinda Lombardo

Yao Ming and Dikembe Mutombo Interview on ESPN

Yao Ming and Dikembe Mutombo Interview on ESPN
Another writer who is fed up with reading crap stories by major media outlets who continually ignore the humanitarian efforts of celebrities and athletes tipped me off to this piece…The article was penned by Ric Bucher on www.sports.espn.go.com. Clearly, Yao Ming and Dikembe are schooling the rest of the boys on what it is to be “real men.” Real men have big hearts, souls, smiles and pa-lenty of love for those who need it most. They inspire us and make us forget about those who make it rain, steal from friends, assault women, drag race and create unnecessary controversy that contributes nothing to this world except grief.


In part, Bucher wrote: Mutombo is as well known for his humanitarian efforts throughout Africa—capped by the completion of a $29 million, 300-bed hospital in Kinshasa last fall—as he is for his NBA exploits, which include four Defensive Player of the Year awards. Yao has followed his lead and has been a one-man Red Cross in China, where he organized last summer’s charity game in Beijing between NBA and Chinese stars and has started a relief foundation for victims of Western China’s earthquake last spring. Still, Yao could always use some advice. So Mutombo flew down, and The Mag tagged along…

    My favorite paragraph from the entire piece comes from Yao Ming, who says:
    “ What inspires me are the stories that have come out. There is a picture on a website of a teacher who, when the earthquake was happening, put four kids under a table and put his body on top of the table. When the school wall came down, the teacher died but the kids were saved. You can’t stay away when you hear stories like that. When my foundation raises the money to rebuild those schools, we’re going to name the schools after those teachers.”

Once again, if that doesn’t give you goose bumps or a lump in your throat, I would venture to guess you have no soul?

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As always, thanks for reading.
Delinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.com