Yao Ming and Steve Nash attend the charity auction in Beijing on Thursday, September 13, 2007, one day prior to their clash at the Shougang Basketball Centre Gymnasium. (Photo: Xinhua)
A total of seven million yuan were raised at a charity auction on Thursday in Beijing, attended by Chinese basketballers and NBA stars.
Houston Rockets center Yao Ming and Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash appeared at the banquet, part of the charity activities jointly sponsored by themselves, that also includes a charity game on Friday.
All the money collected from the auction and from Friday's game will be used to aid schooling for kids in China's poorest regions.
Seven people became winners after fierce bidding at the salesroom where precious items, including Beijing Olympic tickets and the jersey Michael Jordan wore in the NBA final, were on sale.
Every winner will gain a set of articles with a special theme. The pack - featuring the Beijing Olympics - that includes tickets and a pair of sports shoes once worn by Yao Ming - was auctioned at the highest rate - 3.6 million yuan.
6.75 million yuan were collected from the auction and Yao Ming, who enjoys a high reputation both in China and in the US, contributed another 250,000 yuan to the sum.
The charity game between the Chinese national team and the NBA Stars is scheduled for Friday evening, at the Shougang Basketball Centre Gymnasium.
(CRI.cn September 14, 2007)