Thursday, January 17, 2008


Yao Ming (Chinese: 姚明; pinyin: Yáo Míng) (born September 12, 1980, in Shanghai, China) is a Chinese professional basketball player who plays for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is currently the tallest player in the NBA, standing at 7'6" (2.29 m).[1] He played for the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) for five years, before being selected by Houston as the 1st overall pick of the 2002 NBA Draft.

Yao was born to his 6'11" (2.08 m) tall father Yao Zhiyuan, and his 6'2" (1.88 m) mother Fang Fengdi, who was the captain of the women’s national team that won the first Asian Championship in 1976. He was born with the weight of 11 pounds, twice the average size in China, and was 5’5” by age ten, and 6’6” (2 meters) by the time he was thirteen. He developed a sickness at age seven that resulted in his losing his hearing in his left early.

He first started playing basketball at age nine, and he went to the junior sports school at the same age. When he was examined at age ten he was predicted to grow to the height of 7’3”. The Sharks invited him to try out for their junior team when he was thirteen, where he had to practice for 10 hours a day to make the team. He first dunked at age fifteen, and he made the senior team of the Sharks when he was seventeen.