Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame center Yao Ming is seen in a 2014 file photo. CC BY 2.0

Here’s a news item that was overshadowed by countless NBA Finals developments within the past week: Hall of Famer Yao Ming was elected as FIBA Asia chairman.

Yao’s appointment came at the FIBA Asia General Assembly in Bengaluru, India, it was announced on June 9.

The ex-Houston Rockets center joins the FIBA Asia leadership board for the four-year period ending in 2023. He also serves as the Chinese Basketball Association chairman. In February 2017, the CBA unanimously selected Yao for the position.

Qatari Sheikh Saud Ali Al Thani begins a third term as FIBA Asia president.

Yao Ming began his career with the Shanghai Sharks in 1997. He was the No. 1 pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, then retired in 2011 after numerous injuries. He was an eight-time NBA All-Star.

Commitment to education

He’s kept busy in recent years, raising a family and getting a college education. In April 2018, Yao Ming earned an economics degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He first entered the school in 2011.

Indeed, persistence paid off.

At age 17, Yao promised his parents that he would get a college degree some day.

“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 was quoted as saying during his graduation speech.