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YAO MING Yao Ming had one of the most exciting rookie years in NBA history. In the NBA, Yao Ming scored an average of 13.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 1.74 blocks per game, earning him unanimous NBA All-Rookie First Team honors. He started as center for the Western Conference in the 2003 NBA All-Star Game after ranking fourth overall in All-Star balloting with 1,286,324 votes and was named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for December and February. Yao was also selected for the 2003-2004 All-Star team for the second consecutive year.

Off the court, Yao appeared on the front page of The Wall Street Journal and USA Today, and on the covers of Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, ESPN the Magazine, SLAM, Inside Stuff and Basketball Digest. He also received the 2003 Laureus World Newcomer of the Year award and was featured in television commericals for McDonalds, Pepsi, Visa, Apple Computer and Gatorade. During the off season, he travels back to China to play for the Chinese National Team. In the summer of 2003, Yao hosted China's first telethon, which raised funds to battle SARS. Yao Ming has partnered with Special Olympics. His goal is to help shed light on the many people of China that are challenged with mental disabilities. In the 2004 Summer Olympics, Yao Ming represented China in carrying the flag in the Opening Ceremony in Greece.

COLIN PINE Colin Pine was born in Baltimore on January 8, 1974. That makes him an ox in the Chinese zodiac, despite the fact that the placemats at Chinese restaurants will tell you he is a tiger. The reason he is an ox is that his birthday fell before the lunar New Year, which in the Chinese calendar is the true demarcation of what year you are born in. Colin spent the next eighteen years of his life in Baltimore. The Colts left Baltimore in 1983, leaving only one team for Colin to route for, the Orioles (who fortunately won the World Series that year, dulling the pain of all Baltimoreans). He did not discover basketball until he was 13 years old. That year he happened upon March Madness and Danny and the Miracles. His life was never to be the same. From this time on, he gave up on playing second base opposite Cal Ripken and focused on making it to Division I basketball (despite knowing he was severely undersized).

By high school, Colin knew that his future would not include glory on the court. Thus, he settled for being the manager of the Varsity team and cheering maniacally. Upon graduation, he headed for James Madison University, to cheer on Lefty Driesell’s Dukes and study Romantic poetry.

During his senior year, his professors convinced him that going directly to graduate school would not be the best option. Deciding that sitting in a cubicle all day would not suit him, he studied Mandarin at Middlebury for a summer and headed off to Taipei to have adventures. Who would have thought that what was intended to be one year would turn into three.

During those three years, Colin taught English and continued studying Mandarin. He spent a full year studying at National Taiwan University before leaving for home. When he got to the U.S. he moved to Washington, D.C. and found a job doing research at a commercial real estate company. It took him approximately one year to discover that this was exactly the cubicle job he had feared. He proceeded to find a job translating for the U.S. government. After a year and a half of doing this, he again decided it was time to move on. He applied to law school and was set to go, when something happened that would change his life.

In the summer of 2001, Colin returned to Asia to travel for two months before beginning law school. During this time, and after numerous conversations with friends, he decided that he was not ready to start law school after all. When he returned to the U.S., he thought about what it was that he would really like to do. He decided that he would like to continue translating, and spoke with a few friends in the field. One of them happened to know that a certain basketball player from China was looking for a translator for the coming NBA season. Said friend also had the email address of the person to whom a resume should be sent. Colin decided that he would never forgive himself if he didn’t send a resume. One month after he emailed his C.V. he received a phone call....

Continued: The Cast and Crew

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