"I'm confident in China's basketball potential," said Yao Ming, Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer and president of the Chinese Basketball Association. Yao spoke during a stage discussion about basketball development with the NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and FIBA's Secretary General Patrick Baumann at the first FIBA Basketball Summit in Xi'an, the capital city of northwest China's Shaanxi Province on Thursday.
Having expressed his confidence in basketball development in China, Yao has shared both his reasons and the problems he sees. "We have a huge basketball population in China where the sport is very popular among people at different ages. I believe it's already true before NBA came to our country. When I recall the excitement of watching basketball games with my parents before I started to play the sport, I knew basketball has a long history in China," said Yao.
Yao pointed out that Chinese basketball needs an effectively managing system for its promising market. "We already have a powerful market which, though could lead to a large waste of resources without remarkable management. It will take generations of efforts to establish a good league and build a competitive team even in the world. We need to explore how to reach this goal together with professionals from other countries and learn from their experience."
Yao Ming has also shared his view of basketball and agreed with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver that basketball can contribute to improving human relations and connections. "Basketball is not just about competition. It also has a big cultural definition that can bring us joys. We need to see more than winning and losing, but other things happening around the court."
Yao made it clear that Team China aim at qualification for the 2020 Summer Olympics at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup. "I hope the young generation can do better than their seniors. China reached quarter-finals at the World Championship in 1994, 1996 and 2006. Today we have some real talented young men who can challenge to do better in the future seven to 10 years."
To reach that goal, Yao talked about building a good basketball league. "A good league can keep providing quality basketball players to our teams. The US has both NBA and NCAA that have brought up so many players, coaches and referees. They do not come from nothing but decent conditions of a good league."