Yao Ming, second right, is one of 12 inductees to the FIBA Hall of Fame ©FIBA

China's three-time Asia Cup champion Yao Ming has been inducted into the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Hall of Fame as part of a group of 12 that make up the class of 2023.

The ceremony took place in Manila during the FIBA Congress which took place on the eve of the Basketball World Cup co-hosted in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Japan.

Yao was named most valuable player in the 2001 and 2003 editions of the Asia Cup and became the first non-American player to be selected first in the National Basketball Association (NBA) draft, in 2002.

"It is my honour to have the recognition from the FIBA Hall of Fame," Yao said.

"I will continue making contributions to the cause of basketball."

Australia's 2006 World Championship-winning forward Penny Taylor joins Yao, as well as Women's Asia Cup gold medallist from Japan Yuko Oga, double Olympic champion Katrina McClain of the United States, and Spanish EuroBasket winner Amaya Valdemoro.

Brazil's Wlamir Marques, eight-time AfroBasket winner Angelo Monteiro dos Santos Victoriano of Angola, Indonesian Sony Hendrawan, and coaches Valerie Garnier of France and Italy's Alessandro Gamba were also inducted.

Filipino Carlos Loyzaga and Munich 1972 Olympic gold medallist Zurab Sakandelidze were then included posthumously.

"We are honoured to welcome these great basketball personalities into the FIBA Hall of Fame," said former FIBA President Hamane Niang, whose successor Sheikh Saud Ali Al Thani was announced yesterday.

"The FIBA Hall of Fame is not only part of our basketball tradition, it is an institution that recognises those who brought our sport to the level of popularity that it has today and inspires the next generation."

IOC Executive Board member Prince Feisal Al Hussein commended FIBA for its approach to safeguarding issues ©FIBA
IOC Executive Board member Prince Feisal Al Hussein commended FIBA for its approach to safeguarding issues ©FIBA

The Congress also saw a speech from chair of the International Olympic Committee's Working Group on Safeguarding Prince Feisal Al Hussein who praised FIBA's approach to the issue.

Prince Feisal, who is also an IOC Executive Board member and Jordan Olympic Committee President, is the founding chair of FIBA's Safeguarding Council. 

"The speed with which FIBA moved to finalise its safeguarding policy in the second half of 2022 showed the Federation's commitment.

"To have FIBA, the International Federation for one of the most popular sports in the Olympic Movement, take responsibility in this manner sets a fantastic example for other IFs and it sets a fantastic example for the National Federations."