Category: Sports / November 27, 2012 9:55 AM EST
Former NBA player Yao Ming received an honorary doctorate from the University of Hong Kong on Tuesday (November 27).
Yao, who played for Houston Rockets from 2002-2011, was conferred a Doctor of Social Sciences honoris causa by Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.
"I feel very excited and I feel very honoured," Yao told reporters. "To receive this degree under the eyes of so many people is a huge encouragement for me. I hope I won't let everyone down."
The 32-year-old made the NBA All-Star team eight times and the University also recognised Yao for his philanthropy.
Yao has taken part in several charity events and raised millions of pounds for different causes. After the 2008 Sichuan earthquake Yao donated $2million to relief work.
"Yao Ming's leadership in sport, his endearing demeanor and his courageous support for humanitarian causes has made him a role model for millions of people," said the University of Hong Kong's Public Orator Michael Wilkinson.