Ye Li was a Chinese professional basketball player. One distinctive feature that stands her out among average Chinese women is her imposing height of 6 feet 3 inches which added to her brief career success on the court. The Shanghai native may have had a short stint playing with the China Women’s Basketball team at the 2004 Summer Olympics at the age of 22, but she made more history as the beautiful wife of Yao Ming and the mother of his only child than she made as a basketball player for her country.
Read on as we explore more facts about this celebrated wife of the Naismith Hall of Fame inductee, Yao Ming – one of the world’s tallest men.
Biography – Who Is Ye Li?
Ye Li was born in Shanghai, East China on the 20th of November, 1981 and has Chinese ancestry. Ye played six games in her time, all during the 2004 Summer Olympics in the city of Athina, Athens. She didn’t have a long basketball career but she still managed to bag 1 block, 2 turnovers, 8 total rebounds, and 8 points in her first game which was a game against the Korean team (which China won with 71 points to Korea 54 points).
Her second game against Spain and her team lost with eight points difference, despite her efforts with 2 turnovers, 6 total rebounds, and 12 points. However, Ye Li would fare better in the third game with 4 turnovers, 2 assists, 1 total rebound, and 16 points. In the following three games, she recorded 9 turnovers, 4 steals, 2 assists, 18 total rebounds, and 32 points. She and her teammates did not win the championship that year but they made it past the group rounds to the finals.
Family – Husband (Yao Ming)
Ye Li biological parents or siblings are not known to the public because she is a private person and there aren’t many details about her birth family and siblings. At least we know she is the daughter-in-law of two of Chinese retired basketball professionals – Fang Fengdi (with a height of 6 feet 3 inches) and Yao Zhiyuan (who is 6 feet 7 inches tall).
She is the beloved wife of the retired NBA legend, Yao Ming who was born on the 12th of September, 1980. The couple got acquainted at Shanghai Youth Sports School as teens but their relationship became publicized at the closing ceremony of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. The love birds had almost a decade long courtship before they became man and wife in a private wedding ceremony in August 2007. The event took place at the Pudong Shangri-La with about 70 guests present.
Their union has been blessed with a sweet daughter whom they named Yao Qinlei translated as Amy in the English Language. She was birthed on the 21st of May, 2010 in Houston, Texas in the United States of America.
Her husband rise to stardom began after he was spotted by the Chinese sports officials when he was in third grade as he had at that point, attained an adult height of 5 feet 7 inches. It is worthy of note that Yao Ming had no interest whatsoever in basketball at the time as he loved reading works related to military history and the likes. He wowed everyone when he surpassed the height of his mother (6 feet 7 inches) in sixth grade.
His first professional basketball outing was with the Shanghai Sharks in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) before he signed up for the National Basketball Association (NBA) draft in 2002 at the age of twenty-two. Standing at a height of 7 feet 4 inches, he was picked as a first overall pick by the Houston Rockets.
He had a stellar professional career with the Rockets from 2002 to 2011 with numerous nominations and awards to his name. Some of which are NBA All-Rookie First team, All NBA third team (3 times), All NBA second team (2 times) and NBA All-Star (8 times).
In 2008, the couple established the Yao Ming Foundation in response to the terrible 8.0 earthquake in Sichuan Province in China. The foundation funded the construction of schools and helped to provide sports education for youths in the country-side regions of China.
Ye Li over the years has continually supported her husband, even when he was forced into early retirement from professional basketball due to frequent injuries which kept him off the court for long. He is the owner of the Shanghai Sharks (which he bought over in 2009 and renamed) and the Head of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), a position he assumed on the 23rd February 2017.
Ye Li’s Height
The adorable Ye Li towers at a height of 6 feet and 3 inches (1.91m) above the ground, surpassing the average female height for female basketballers by 3 inches and the average height of regular Chinese women by few feet and several inches. This made her most suiting for her husband as he is one of the tallest men alive and stands at a height of 7 feet 6 inches.
Other Facts About Ye Li
The net worth and earnings of Ye Li is not public knowledge, however, her husband’s net worth has been pegged by a reliable source at about $120 million which accrued to him, from his career as a basketballer, endorsements, and his winery – Napa Valley Wine Company, as well as the Sharks basketball franchise.
The lovely mother of one is barely on any social media platform, unlike her retired superstar husband who has a sizable number of followings on his Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram handle where one can look up and find what he has been about.