Yao Ming (Chinese: 姚明; pinyin: Yáo Míng; born September 12, 1980) is a former Chinese professional basketball player. He played for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was the tallest player in the NBA, at 7 feet 6 inches (2.29 m).
Yao was born in Shanghai, People's Republic of China. He started with the Shanghai Sharks as a teenager and played on their senior team for five years in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA). The team won a championship in his final year. Then he entered the 2002 NBA Draft. The CBA had to release him, and he was selected by the Houston Rockets to play on their team. He had also been chosen to play for the NBA All-Star Game for all six of his seasons. However, the Rockets have not advanced past the first round of the playoffs since he joined the team, and he has also had injuries in each of the past three seasons. On July 20, 2011, Yao announced that he was retiring from basketball after many foot and ankle injuries.
His father, Yao Zhiyuan, is 2.08 m or 6 ft 10 in tall; his mother, Fengdi Fang, is 1.88 m or 6 ft 2 in tall. She was captain of the Chinese national women's basketball team. Yao's parents were the tallest couple in China when he was born.
Yao is married to Ye Li, who used to play for the China women's national basketball team. He is one of China's best-known athletes. He has sponsorships with several major companies, and he has been the richest celebrity in China for six straight years, earning US$51 million (CN¥357 million) in 2008.
References[change | change source]
- "NBA Players". NBA.com. http://www.nba.com/players/. Retrieved 2008-04-17.
- "Yao Ming Retiring? Chinese Fans Hope Not Yet". CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2011/SPORT/07/09/yao.ming/. Retrieved 2014-9-22.
- "Yao and Ye's wedding unites East and West". Houston Chronicle. http://www.chron.com/sports/rockets/article/Yao-and-Ye-s-wedding-unites-East-and-West-1536910.php. Retrieved 2014-9-22.
- "Like countryman Yao, hurdler is finding weight of fame". USA Today. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/summer/track/2006-05-24-beijing-hurdles_x.htm. Retrieved 2014-9-22.
- "Yao tops forbes list again, but Ziyi catches up". China Daily. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/showbiz/2009-03/18/content_7591787.htm. Retrieved 2014-9-22.
- "The Year of the Yao". Houston Chronicle. http://www.chron.com/entertainment/movies/article/The-Year-of-the-Yao-1630432.php. Retrieved 2014-9-22.
- "Yao’s Life in Two Worlds". NBA. http://www.nba.com/features/yao_041001.html. Retrieved 2014-9-22.