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Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011

Yao could enter Hall as early as 2012

AP

Houston — Retired Houston Rockets center Yao Ming could enter the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as early as next year — not as a player, but as a contributor to the game.

John Doleva, the president and CEO of the Hall, said Tuesday that Yao has been nominated by a member of the Chinese media and his credentials will be considered by an international panel. As a contributor, Yao would bypass the usual five-year waiting period for retired players.

The 229-cm Yao retired in July after leg and foot injuries ended his eight-year NBA career. The eight-time All-Star averaged 19 points and 9.2 rebounds in the NBA.

He'll also be remembered for his global impact on the league, almost single-handedly expanding its reach throughout Asia.

Doleva said a panel of seven "experts on the international game" will consider Yao's credentials, and six of the seven will have to approve Yao's election. The panel is only allowed to select one individual, and Doleva said Yao will be facing about 12-15 other candidates for induction next year.



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