Yao Ming Unanimously Voted President of Chinese Basketball Association

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2017

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 03:  Yao Ming watches as his Houston Rockets jersey #11 is retired at halftime of the game between the Houston Rockets and the Chicago Bulls at Toyota Center on February 3, 2017 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Tim Warner/Getty Images

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Yao Ming was unanimously elected the new president of the Chinese Basketball Association on Thursday.

According to ESPN.com, Yao stepped down from his role as owner of the CBA's Shanghai Sharks in order to assume his new position.

The former Houston Rockets No. 1 overall draft pick expressed his desire to tweak the league's draft system and alter the way Chinese players are taught and trained.

He also provided the following statement upon his election, per ESPN.com: "Our next move will be to borrow from international advanced experience, to thoroughly study China's actual conditions and carve ourselves a path of innovation."

The 36-year-old is the most famous and successful Chinese basketball player of all time, as he was selected to eight NBA All-Star Games in his nine years in the league.

He was often slowed by injuries from his fourth season onward, but he finished his career with averages of 19.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per contest.

The 7'6" Yao is deeply rooted in the CBA due to his former ownership of the Sharks and the fact that he played for them from 1997 through 2002.