Former NBA player Yao Ming lifts up a giant panda cub at Chengdu Research Base in Chengdu, Sichuan province. Yao came to the research base after attending the launch ceremony of Panda Valley protected area, where the first batch of giant pandas has been resettled from captivity for wildlife training. (REUTERS/China Daily)
GALLERY: Athletes and Pandas | Rare Photos of Yao MingSI VAULT: Yao has given NBA boost on two continents (2.10.03)

Former NBA player Yao Ming lifts up a giant panda cub at Chengdu Research Base in Chengdu, Sichuan province. Yao came to the research base after attending the launch ceremony of Panda Valley protected area, where the first batch of giant pandas has been resettled from captivity for wildlife training. (REUTERS/China Daily)

GALLERY: Athletes and Pandas | Rare Photos of Yao Ming
SI VAULT: Yao has given NBA boost on two continents (2.10.03)