Yao Ming arrives in Auckland

By James Perry

Chinese NBA legend Yao Ming has arrived in New Zealand ahead of the FIBA World Cup qualifying game between Tall Blacks and China tomorrow.

Former Houston Rockets NBA player, Yao Ming is the president of China Basketball Association, who are hosting the World Champs next year.

Visiting Auckland ahead of the World Championship Qualifier between New Zealand and China, Yao Ming says they are doing everything they can to make the tournament a success, and also "hope everybody can find another home away from home."

As a player, Yao Ming experienced first hand the power of a haka at various world championships. He remembers the emotion as "a feeling. That's good, that's kind of sports DNA." He also remembers, "the way they when they're staring in our eye, and we're just staring back."

Both teams were side by side meeting fans at a fan event outside Sky City on Saturday. 

NZ have the upper hand after narrowly beating China earlier this year. Yao Ming says the Chinese have improved since then, "we will compete better than last time too."

The game marks the end of the 1st round of Asian Qualifiers, with round 2 beginning in September.