NBA, Chinese stars play for charity

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A special night on the hardwood here in the Capital as Chinese icon Yao Ming brought together stars of both Chinese basketball and the NBA here in Beijing on Monday evening.

The former NBA All-Star using his star power to draw attention to the plight of underprivileged children in his home country while also raising some much needed funds for them, as well.

NBA star Tracy McGrady, right, stands beside his former Houston Rockets' teammate Yao Ming at a charity basketball game between the NBA All-star team and Chinese National team organized by the Yao Foundation in Beijing, July 1, 2013. All proceeds from ticket revenue for the charity game themed "All For Children" will go to the Yao Foundation Hope Primary School Basketball Season, which aims to provide a better future for children in poor areas by improving public welfare and sports programs. NBA All-star team won 61-58. [Photo by Cui Meng/]

The exhibition game was part of the 2013 Yao Ming Foundation Charity Tour. NBA stars such as Metta World Peace, Joakim Noah and Luis Scola would form a squad, taking on the Chinese national team led by former Dallas Mavericks forward Yi Jianlian. Brazilian soccer player Kaka was also invited as special guest to watch the charity game organized by Yao.

"First of all, I want to thank you for coming and supporting our charity. I would also like to thank the NBA players who traveled a long way to get here. These NBA stars came to China to help our charity and to provide you fans with an entertaining match." Yao Ming, Yao Foundation CEO said.

The game was friendly at first, with both sides trying to show off their skills. The result of the match was not important. Yao and Tracy McGrady served as coaches for the team comprised of NBA players.

In the third quarter -- the pros made way for some of the youngsters that will be receiving some of the support from the charity match, who took to the court, to show off their talent. The basketball stars returned for the fourth quarter with George Hill and Joakim Noah stealing the spotlight. The NBA side would win the match, but everyone agrees that the charity was the big winner.

With the theme of "All for Children", the proceeds of the ticket sales will be used to help the impoverished youngsters, by improving their living conditions and providing sports facilities in the poor regions of the country.

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