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Yao Ming begins college life

(Global Times)

08:20, November 08, 2011

Yao Ming attends a math class during his first day as a student at Shanghai Jiao Tong University on Monday. Provided to China Daily

The gossip mills of Shanghai Jiao Tong University have been turning since basketball superstar Yao Ming, 31, began his studies at the university's economics school Monday, two months after the start of the academic year.

Taking credits in English, mathematics and history, the former basketball star gave a press conference in the university to mark the first day of his college life.

"I feel good today, but a little bit tired, since I have not been in class for over 10 years. I am rusty. Nevertheless, I will try hard to grasp this learning opportunity," Yao said at the 25-minute briefing, which attracted around 100 reporters.

According to Yao, who retired on July 20, he has enrolled in the Antai College of Economics & Management, although he will also study finance and journalism. The school has prepared a tailor-made chair for the supersize student.

"I chose Jiao Tong University instead of private tutors, because I want to feel the atmosphere on campus," Yao told reporters Monday.

However, the giant will spend more time in private one-to-one classes in order to reduce disturbing the lives of other students.

"Yao had thought about joining classes with other classmates. But he worried it might affect normal education within the school," Yao's agent Zhang Mingji told the Xinhua News Agency in September.

Zhang Chi, a spokesman of the Shanghai Sharks basketball team, which Yao owns, said at Monday's press conference that the media should leave Yao alone to study.

"Studying is to enrich myself, not for others to see. I hope everybody will give me space. I don't want too much extra needless pressure," Yao said in a televised interview last week.

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