Sportress of Blogitude

I’m Pretty Sure These Chinese Kids Don’t Know What They’re Getting Themselves Into

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This may be a bit harsh, but a word to the wise: if you ever plan on spending any time in China and while there, someone invites you to participate in any sort of “camp”, don’t go.

That’s what worries me about the news that Yao Ming is returning to China to lead a basketball camp for young basketball players.

Yao’s offseason also will include a camp in Beijing from July 30-Aug. 2. Basketball without Borders’ Asian program, jointly hosted by the NBA and the International Basketball Federation, will select 50 of Asia’s top under-19 players to participate in the clinic featuring the tutelage of NBA coaches and players.

Not only that, but during his time in his homeland, Yao will also be providing the voice for a character in an upcoming animated propaganda film. As you may recall, Yao has done work for animated projects before, playing himself in an episode of The Simpsons.

But first, Yao plays the father of the main character in “The Magic Aster,” a traditional tale of good versus evil that promises to be more earnest than the famously irreverent Simpsons.

Okay, okay. Of course, the film is not for propaganda purposes and the camp is a straight-forward basketball camp (the NBA is involved, so you know it’s good) for up-and-coming Chinese players, I’m just having a little fun with it. There’s no need to get all pissy about it.

Obviously, we all know what will really go on at the basketball camp:

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Just keep your heads down, hands moving and productivity consistent, kiddos, and everything will be just fine.

Yao Ming voices film role, leads youth camp [Sporting News/AP]