Yao Ming graduates from Shanghai Jiao Tong University

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Former NBA center Yao Ming speaks at his graduation ceremony at Shanghai Jiao Tong University on Sunday.

Yao Ming, the former Chinese basketball star and NBA Houston Rockets center, received his bachelor’s degree together with some 3,300 graduates in the class of 2018 at Shanghai Jiao Tong University on Sunday.

Speaking at the commencement ceremony as a graduate representative, the 38-year-old recalled his past seven years of study after retiring from basketball in 2011.

“I had promised to my parents when I entered the CBA (Chinese Basketball Association) at the age of 17 that I would come back to finish college after I was done with my sportsman’s life,” he said. “If not for that promise, I might have quit several times, especially when I studied the course of advanced mathematics.

“But over time, I came to believe the process of learning is more important than the result,” Yao said. “Try to combine your own future plans with society’s development, because only by doing so will you give yourselves more room to explore.”

He graduated with a degree in economics from the university’s Antai College of Economics and Management.

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