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October 2003



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Nine of One: A Window to the World

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PBS: Becoming American


" When it comes to predictions, most basketball anoraks will stop at nothing...Yao Ming, late of the Shanghai Sharks, has become a presence, and could become the most dominant player in history. "
- Sunday Herald, UK

The Tao of Yao: Reviews

"On behalf of the students at UC Davis in the Asian American Studies Program, I wanted to thank you for your illuminating presentation in the Asian Americans and Media course. Subsequent to your visit, a number of students have been inspired to undertake independent media projects due to your influence. Your account of how you came to become an author and independent publisher has had the benefit of exposing students to possibilities beyond what they have previously imagined."
- Prof. Darrell Hamamoto, UC Davis

"I would like to take this moment, on behalf of the entire BASIC staff, to thank you for your two truly amazing workshops. Instead of telling you how much I learned from the Asian Americans in Mass Media workshop, it suffices to say that the Yao Ming poster is now up on my wall, your autographed book is sitting on my shelf, and the scanned pictures of book cover and autograph are on my website =)...Once again, it was our true honor to have you at the BASIC conference and I wish you best of the luck in your worthy endeavors."
- Hao Wang, Programming Committee, Boston Asian Students Intercollegiate Conference, 10/6/04

"Mr. Chin was very warm, welcoming, and incredibly informative about a number of topics (graphic novels, comics, Yao Ming, the history of basketball) for a number of different age levels - children, teen, and adult - and interests. I enjoyed his PowerPoint presentations, but it was the power of his explanatory commentaries that truly made the program."
- Alan Bern, Teen Services Coordinator, Berkeley Public Library

"On behalf of the City College Concert and Lecture Series, I would like to thank you for participating in our fourth annual "East Meets West" author event...Your willingness to take the time to tell our students about the writing process, the research that went into The Tao of Yao adn the experience of writing is very much appreciated."
- Stephanie Lyons, City College of San Francisco, May 2004

"I am not much of Taoist (if anything I'm more of a Confucianist), but your juxtaposition of Yao and Tao is very well done...Keep up the good work."
- Samuel Chu, Emeritus Professor, College of Humanities, Ohio State University

Basketball's Big Man
"Oliver Chin's biography The Tao of Yao relates how Chinese NBA star Yao Ming used his spiritual background to deal with the often-unenlightened American media (not to mention the mental anguish of crushing his foes on the court)."
- SF Weekly, March 24, 2004

"[The Tao of Yao] does engage in some amusing connect-the-dots."
- Sports Illustrated

Spiritual Center
"As Oliver Chin's new book ... illustrates, listening to this 7'6" Chinese jock can be (surprise!) an enlightening, Zenlike - and often humorous - experience. Chin's unique take on the exploding popularity of China's NBA superstar uses the Yao phenomenon to illustrate Taoism and the teachings of Sun Tzu...Says Chin, 'Yao is a window into China's philosophical heart.' "
- Hyphen Magazine, Issue 3, Spring 2004

"Many basketball fans are fascinated by Houston Rockets' Yao Ming, but freelance cartoonist and author Oliver Chin took his interest a step further. Chin wanted to know more about the 7-foot, 6-inch star from China than he could find in newspapers or on television. So he decided to write a book about Yao, who in 2002 became the first international player to be the top pick in the National Basketball Association draft."
- The Argus, Fremont, CA, March 1, 2004
read the full review

"A nice approach and a delight to read about a great player who is also a normal human being."
- Joe Starkey, KGO Radio, 810 AM NewsTalk, San Francisco, February 19, 2004

In writing The Tao of Yao: Insights From Basketball's Brightest Big Man, Oliver Chin seemed to know that a sports biography about the now 23-year-old would lack narrative drive. Yao's Houston Rockets didn't mount a playoff drive, let alone win a championship. And by averaging 13.5 points and 8.2 rebounds per game in his rookie season, Yao quickly dispelled any doubts about his abilities, showing that his large frame and athletic grace overcame whatever disadvantage there might have been in learning the game in a Shanghai gym rather than on a Brooklyn playground.
- The Washington Post, January 11, 2004
read the full review

San Francisco's Oliver Chin riffs on a celebrity whose "impact on American culture and Asians at large deserved more in-depth examination than the mainstream media were capable of providing." The title's more than just cute, Chin says. Yao's a yin-yang kinda guy.
- The East Bay Express, December 24, 2003
read the full review

"the biography is meticulously researched and will interest the phenom's thousands of fans."
- The Honolulu Advertiser, December 22, 2003

"Looking for a basketball book for Christmas? One good coffee table book is "NBA's Greatest ... The NBA's Best Players, Teams, and Games."...Another book is "The Tao of Yao ... Insights from Basketball's Brightest Big Man." Author Oliver Chin takes a in-depth look at Houston Rockets center Yao Ming."
- By Marc J. Spears, Denver Post Sports Writer, December 21, 2003

In this clever twist on the traditional sports biography...Chin (author of the graphic novel Nine of One) deftly weaves Yao's biography and the events of his first season as Houston's number-one draft pick with an explanation of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching...Chin is a skilled writer with an obvious love of basketball who provides compelling insights into Yao's skills, such as how his role as the linchpin for both the Rocket's offense and defense, makes him, in a Taoist sense, the "anti-center"...A player like Yao who signs a $200,000 endorsement deal with Nike can be seen as far more Western than Eastern, a point which Chin himself makes in other good observations about Houston's expanding Asian-American community and the remarkable media savvy that Yao has shown when dealing with NBA superstars like Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley.
- Publishers Weekly, December 15, 2003
read the full review

"Basketball has known great, versatile centers but Yao, selfless and fundamentally sound, has the potential to write a whole new chapter. Chin's enlightening spin on the man who's at the forefront of the cultural changes happening in the NBA and the world is a slam dunk."
- Bruce Jenkins, sports columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, author of A Good Man: The Pete Newell Story

"Chin lends a unique perspective to the story of the NBA's most intriguing player. Yao Ming has turned the world of sports on its head in more ways than one. The Tao of Yao will inspire athletes, parents, and teachers of all ages."
- Neil Hayes, sports columnist for the Contra Costa Times, author of When the Game Stands Tall: The Story of the De La Salle Spartans and Football's Longest Winning Streak

"Yao Ming has the attitude - and altitude - to become an NBA great. Chin captures the personality of this special giant. "The Tao of Yao"!"
- Dave Newhouse, sports columnist for the Oakland Tribune,
author of The Million Dollar Backfield: The San Francisco 49ers in the 1950s.

"Oliver Chin uses the modern phenomenon of Yao Ming to illustrate the ancient wisdom of Taoism and Sun Tzu's The Art of War. By deftly bridging the cultures of East and West, by drawing inspiration from sports heroes, warriors and philosophers over thousands of years of history, The Tao of Yao transcends both time and space, highlighting universal principles of leadership essential to victory."
- Iris Chang, the New York Times bestselling author of The Rape of Nankingand The Chinese in America: A Narrative History.



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