Former NBA star and basketball hall of famer Yao Ming finally graduated from China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 

The 37-year-old looked thrilled as he posed for photographs with his parents wearing the traditional gown and mortarboard following the ceremony where he was awarded his degree in economics fulfilling a promise he made to his parents when he was 17. 


Yao gave a speech to his fellow graduates at the ceremony in which he joked about the length of time it took him to complete his course.

“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 said.

“Let me quote a famous conversation that happened on a basketball court 11 years ago, ‘This is going to be your league in a little while.’ Trust me, when a man spends seven years in university to graduate at age 38, he knows what he’s talking about!”

Since retiring, Yao has kept himself busy with charity work, fronting a campaign to protect endangered species. Congrats to Yao!