China's Yao Ming to go back to school: report

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Sep 27 2011 06:15 PM | Updated as of Sep 28 2011 02:15 AM

SHANGHAI - Chinese sporting hero Yao Ming is to return to school this autumn, three months after retiring from the game that made him a global star, the state Xinhua news agency said, citing his agent.

The former Houston Rockets player will attend Shanghai's Jiaotong University, one of China's most prestigious institutions, but has not yet decided what he will study, his agent Zhang Mingji said.

But fellow students won't be sitting next to the towering Yao. The university will assign him special teachers for one-on-one sessions because he was worried his appearance in class would affect other students, Xinhua reported late Monday.

"Yao has always been learning after retirement," Zhang said. "He has never stopped learning."

Jiaotong, considered one of China's top universities, is renowned for its science and engineering departments.

Yao, whose success on the court made him a hero to hundreds of millions of basketball-mad Chinese, announced his retirement in July.

He enrolled at Jiaotong for his undergraduate degree shortly before heading to the United States to play in the National Basketball Association, but was too busy to do the coursework, state media has previously reported.

AFP could not immediately reach Zhang or anyone at Jiaotong University for comment.