Former NBA all-star Yao Ming has called for China’s school system to invest more in sport at the grassroots level, claiming much was needed to be done in his homeland to prevent further stagnation.

“The growth of sport’s status in school life in our country has halted now,” the giant former Houston Rockets center told the China Daily newspaper.

“We should start over and let it go beyond just a function (for) keeping (students) fit.”

With the inaugural season of Yao’s “Foundation Hope” elementary school basketball program recently concluded, he has been making a considerable push of his own.

– Reported by Reuters