NBA & Disney To Promote Reading In China

NEW YORK, October 13, 2004 — As part of the historic NBA China Games 2004, the National Basketball Association (NBA), DisneyHand, worldwide outreach for The Walt Disney Company, and Hong Kong Disneyland will work together to help promote literacy and the importance of reading in Shanghai and Beijing.

The NBA’s Read to Achieve program and DisneyHand’s Reading Together initiative have teamed up to host Read to Achieve events at primary schools in Shanghai and Beijing during the NBA China Games 2004. As part of the collaboration between Disney and the NBA, Disney Publishing Worldwide, the world’s largest publisher of children’s books and magazines, will donate 1,000 books to each school.

The first Read to Achieve event will take place on Wednesday, October 13, at the No. 1 Gao’an Road Primary School in Shanghai — Houston Rockets Center Yao Ming’s former school. Yao Ming and members of the Houston Rockets, will be joining NBA commissioner David Stern, Walt Disney Company President and COO Bob Iger, Shanghai Administration of Sport President, Mr. Jin Guoxiang and Vice President, Mr. Qiu Weichang, Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Lanier, WNBA Stars Diana Taurasi and Ruth Riley and special guest Mickey Mouse in a Reading Time Out.

“I am proud to return to China, and the primary school I attended, to represent the NBA and the ‘Read to Achieve’ program,” said Yao Ming. “Reading and learning are important no matter where you live and my teammates and I are extremely happy to be able to teach children that very essential lesson.” “Over the years, Disney has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions of people around the world, and introducing that special magic to China is truly a historic undertaking,” said Bob Iger. “The foundation of our creative success is rooted in Disney’s great heritage of master storytelling — whether in our films, theme parks or books — and we are pleased that we will continue to grow our presence in China, particularly with the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland.” A second Reading Time Out event will be held on Saturday, October 16, at the Beijing No.2 Experimental Primary School. Players from the Sacramento Kings, along with George Bodenheimer, Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks and President, ESPN, Inc, NBA commissioner David Stern, WNBA stars Diana Taurasi and Ruth Riley, and Chinese Government Officials will participate.

The NBA China Games 2004, sponsored by The Walt Disney Company, will be organized in conjunction with the respective Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sport and Shanghai Administration of Sports. The NBA China Games 2004 will be played on October 14 in Shanghai at the Shanghai Stadium and October 17 in Beijing at the Capital Stadium.

In the U.S., the game in Shanghai will be broadcast on October 14 at 7:30 a.m. ET (4:30 a.m. PT) on ESPN and re-aired on ESPN2 at 7:30 pm ET (4:30 p.m. PT). The game in Beijing will be broadcast on October 16 at midnight ET (9:00 p.m. PT) on ESPN and re-aired on October 17 at 1:00 p.m. ET (10:00 a.m. PT) on ESPN. China Central Television (CCTV) and Shanghai TV (STV) are the respective host broadcasters for the games in Beijing and Shanghai. Both games will be carried live on CCTV 5 and Great Sports Channel, with re-airs on both channels and CCTV 2.

Read to Achieve
Reaching an estimated 50 million children a year, Read to Achieve is the most extensive educational outreach initiative in the history of professional sports. Efforts of the NBA’s Read to Achieve program includes the annual donation of more than a million books and magazines through a variety of reading events and incentive programs, as well as the development of essay contests and on-line programs. In an effort to provide greater access to books and technology, the NBA and its teams, along with national partners such as RIF®, and Dell have also created 92 Reading and Learning Centers and 80 Reading Corners throughout North America, Brazil and South Africa. In addition to being supported by all NBA, WNBA and NBDL teams, Read to Achieve is supported by the NBA’s officials, parents and wives of players organizations, and the NBA Players Association and Retired Players Association.

DisneyHand, worldwide outreach for The Walt Disney Company, is dedicated to making the dreams of families and children a reality through public service initiatives, community outreach and volunteerism in the areas of compassion, learning, the arts and the environment. For more information on DisneyHand Reading Together and our other projects and programs around the world, please visit us at

About Hong Kong Disneyland
The Hong Kong Disneyland project was announced in November 1999 as a venture between The Walt Disney Company and the Hong Kong SAR Government. With the completion of reclamation for Hong Kong Disneyland Phase I by the Hong Kong SAR Government, Disney began construction in January 2003 with the project scheduled to open in late 2005/ early 2006. The opening day program for Hong Kong Disneyland will include a Disneyland-style theme park and two hotels. The Phase I build-out includes a projected 10 million annual visitor Disneyland-style theme park, 2,100 hotel rooms, and an area for retail, dining and entertainment. The project is estimated to create 18,000 new jobs at opening (both Disney and other employment) growing to 36,000 once the first park reaches build-out. The Hong Kong SAR Government estimated that the first phase of the project will generate a present economic value of HK$148 billion (US$19 billion) in benefits to Hong Kong over a 40-year period. For more information, please refer to the Hong Kong Disneyland website at