Yao Ming charted a new course for Chinese players in basketball. Now, he’s heading to the NBA Hall of Fame.
Some nicknamed him “Ming Dynasty” for his powerful presence on the court.
CCTV America’s Jessica Stone reports.
China-born Yao Ming elected to NBA Hall of FameYao Ming charted a new course for Chinese players in basketball. Now, he's heading to the NBA Hall of Fame. Some nicknamed him "Ming Dynasty" for his powerful presence on the court. CCTV America's Jessica Stone reports.
By the numbers, Yao Ming is among the best centers of all time in America’s National Basketball Association.
Known for his strength around the basket and his soft shooting touch far from it, Yao averaged 19 points, nine rebounds and two blocks per game. The eight-time NBA All-Star will be inducted into the league’s Hall of Fame.
But his impact was far greater than his ability to score baskets.
Analysts call him a trailblazer for Chinese athletes and fans. In the 2002 draft, he became the first Chinese player to be picked first.
The Houston Rockets selected him and he spent eight years with the team. In one of his most iconic moments, in 2003, Yao played against star Shaquille O’Neal, long seen as an immovable force. But Yao stopped him, blocking his first three shots.
At nearly 2.3 meters (7 foot 6 inches) tall, Yao’s celebrity status soared on and off the court. He landed a starring role in a commercial.
Sports observers say Yao helped expand basketball’s popularity in China. As of 2013 , more than 6,700 people in China were certified basketball athletes. That’s more than any other sport.
Yao’s career was cut short. In 2011, he retired, hobbled by a series of injuries. But he’s still active in the sport. He owns the Shanghai Sharks team and lends his fame to several charities.
Since Yao first entered the NBA, Chinese influence on the game has increased. One of the best point guards in the league, Jeremy Lin, is Chinese. Several NBA teams even wore special uniforms for the Chinese New Year. The league has expanded preseason games to China. And the home stadium of the Washington Wizards is in the city’s Chinatown.
Sports journalist Steve Kyler on Yao Ming’s legacy
CCTV America’s Mike Walter interviewed Steve Kyler, an editor and publisher of Basketball Insiders about Yao Ming’s legacy.
Sports journalist Steve Kyler on Yao Ming's legacyCCTV America's Mike Walter interviewed Steve Kyler, an editor and publisher of Basketball Insiders about Yao Ming's legacy.
Sports writer Jon Abrams on Yao Ming’s impact
CCTV America’s Rachelle Akuffo interviewed Jon Abrams, the author of “Boys Among Men: How the Prep-to-Pro Generation Redefined the NBA and Sparked a Basketball Revolution” about Yao Ming’s impact.
Sports writer Jon Abrams on Yao Ming's impactCCTV America's Rachelle Akuffo interviewed Jon Abrams, the author of "Boys Among Men: How the Prep-to-Pro Generation Redefined the NBA and Sparked a Basketball Revolution" about Yao Ming's impact.
Yao Ming: Stats and figures of China’s biggest basketball star
- Born: Sep 12, 1980 in Shanghai, China
- Yao entered Shanghai Sharks junior team when he was 13. Four years later, he joined the senior team of Sharks.
- He averaged 10 points and 8 rebounds per game in his rookie year of Chinese Basketball Association (CBA).
- He won a championship for Shanghai Sharks at his last year of CBA.
- Drafted: 2002. 1st overall pick by the Houston Rockets
- Position: Center
- Played 8 years for Houston, 8 time All-Star
- Retired on July 20, 2011
- Height: 2.29m (7ft 6 in)
- Both of Yao’s parents were former professional basketball players
- Yao played his first NBA game against the Indiana Pacers, scoring no points and grabbing two rebounds
- 2002 was Yao’s first year in NBA. Charles Barkley said he would “kiss (Kenny Smith’s) ass” if Yao scored more than 19 points in one of his rookie-season games. But on November 17 2002, he scored 20 points on a perfect 9-of-9 from the field and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line against the Lakers. Barkley made good on his bet by kissing the buttock of a donkey purchased by Smith for the occasion (Smith’s “ass”).
- He averaged 19 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game in his NBA career.
- Yao played 2000, 2004, 2008 Olympic games for China.
- Now, Yao is the president of Shanghai Sharks.
- Yao Ming married with Ye Li on August 6, 2007. His wife was also a former professional basketball player. On May 21, 2010, the couple’s daughter Yao Qinlei (whose English name is Amy) was born in Houston, Texas.
Source: ESPN.com, NBA.com/rockets