There are several sports in the world but only a few have the glamour that basketball has, not to mention the fans. It is because of this that the name, Yao Ming, will be easily recognized. Yao Ming’s family background helped in shaping his athletic career and the success he enjoys today. He is one of the most recognizable athletes from China and was the top-earning Chinese celebrity for 6 consecutive years during his active period as a basketballer. He performed in the NBA, earning a selection to start for the Western Conference in the NBA All-Star Game eight different times.
Yao Ming’s name was also picked as a member of the All-NBA Team on five different occasions. As a result of this, the baller became the only non-US basketball player to have the most All-Star votes. He is beloved in his home country, China, as well as the United States of America. One of the reasons for this is his easy-going attitude and ever-ready smile. He lives in Texas with his wife, parents, and child.
Yao Ming’s Biography
Yao Ming was born on September 12, 1980, Shanghai, China, to parents who were also athletes. He was quite a bouncing baby at birth, reportedly weighing 5.0 kg, a weight that was double that of the average Chinese baby. He began playing basketball when he was 9. At this point in time, he has already grown to the height of 5 feet 5 inches. Yao Ming is the only child of his parents and grew up showered with all the love and attention they could spare.
Yao Ming started playing basketball professionally at the age of 13. He started off playing for the Shanghai Sharks junior team; this was in the Chinese Basketball Association (the CBA) which is the Chinese counterpart of the United States’ NBA. The next four years of his life was spent with this team after which he transitioned to the senior team at age 17. Yao Ming then spent the next couple of years playing with the Shanghai Sharks senior team and won a championship with them.
In 2002, after several negotiations and agreement with the Chinese government and the CBA, Yao Ming was finally allowed to play in the USA. The Houston Rockets who wanted to sign him chose him as their first pick, a feat that had never been accomplished before by an international player who didn’t play basketball in a US college.
Yao Ming got off to a good start playing in the NBA. He impressed so much that he was chosen to start for the Western Conference in the NBA All-Star Game. That same year, he came second during voting for the NBA Rookie of the year award. He, however, won the Sporting News Rookie of the year, as well as the Laureus Newcomer of the year.
His career progressed in a way similar to how it was in his first year until 2005 when he suffered an injury and had to have surgery. He suffered several injuries after then as a result of which he missed several games. Yao Ming finally retired in 2011 due to the complications brought on by his injuries. In 2009, when his former club, the Shanghai Sharks were going through a period of financial turmoil, he stepped in and bought it. In February 2017, he became the president of the Chinese Basketball Association, CBA.
Facts About Yao Ming’s Family -Parents, Wife, Daughter
Yao Ming is the son of Yao Zhiyuan and Fang Fengdi who were also professional basketballers. He is their only child. Yao Zhiyuan, his father, played professionally as a member of a local basketball squad in Shanghai while his mother, who is 6’ 2” tall, was a member of the Chinese national basketball squad.
Yao Ming’s wife, Ye Li, is also a Chinese former basketball player. She and Yao Li reportedly met when he was just 17 years of age. Their relationship went public sometime in 2004 when they appeared together at the closing ceremony of that year’s Summer Olympics. They tied the knot at a private ceremony in 2007 and gave birth to a beautiful daughter in 2010. Apparently, Ye is the only woman Yao ever dated in his life and it resulted in a life partnership.