Yao gives speech at Shanghai Jiao Tong University graduation.
Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Yao Ming graduated from China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University on Sunday, seven years after he first enrolled at the university as an economics student. The former Houston Rockets center, now 38, also delivered a speech to his fellow graduates in which he joked about his seven-year plan.
“At a certain stage in the future, you should try to combine your future with the future of the society, because that’s how you can find larger space for yourself to explore,” Yao said, according to CGTN.
“Let me quote a famous conversation that happened on a basketball court 11 years ago, 'This is going to be your league in a little while.' Trust me, when a man spends seven years in university to graduate at age 38, he knows what he's talking about," he added.
According to CGTN, Yao enrolled as an economics student in the university's Antai College of Economics and Management in 2011 and he has participated in a number of on campus events during that time. CTGN reports that Yao worked as a representative for the university’s 46th sports meeting and conveyed his well-wishes at the 120th anniversary of the university.
During his speech, the 7'6 legend mentioned how he contemplated dropping out of college several times, especially when he was taking courses in higher mathematics - but ultimately fulfilled the promise he made to his parents before joining the CBA at the age of 17 to get his college degree.