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Basketball: Yao Ming
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Name: Yao Ming

Sport: Basketball

Date of Birth: September 12, 1980

Home: Shanghai

Height: 2.26 meters

Weight: 140 kg

Position: Center

Arms span: 221 Centimeters


1997: Shanghai Sharks, China Basketball Association

2002: Houston Rockets, National Basketball Association

Yao Ming was the only child of 2.08m Yao Zhiyuan and 1.88m Fang Fengdi, both of whom were former professional basketball players. He was given his first basketball on his fourth birthday.

His first season in the Chinese Basketball Association was with the Shanghai Sharks in 1997-1998, where he averaged 10 points and 8 rebounds a game. In his final season, the Sharks won the CBA championship and he averaged 32 points and 18 rebounds a game.

He was then taken with the first overall pick by the Houston Rockets in the 2002 NBA draft. This made him the third Chinese player to ever play in the NBA, after Wang Zhizhi and Mengke Bateer. During his first season, he averaged 13 points and 8 rebounds a game and finished second in rookie-of-the-year voting.

Yao Ming has become one of the best players in the league, having been voted to the All-Star team six times and the All-NBA Team four times. For his career, he has averaged 19 points and 9 rebounds a game.

He has been equally successful in international competition. Yao was named Most Valuable Player during the 2001 FIBA Asia Championship, averaging 13 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks a game. The Chinese team won the tournament, qualifying them for the 2002 World Championships.

At the 2004 Olympics, he averaged 20 points and 9 rebounds as he lead the Chinese team to the quarterfinals. He was chosen to the All-Olympic Team for his performance. He followed this up with a fine performance at the 2006 FIBA World Championship, where he led all players in scoring with 25 points per game.

Career Highs

Points: 41 versus Atlanta, February 22, 2004
Rebounds: 22 versus Phoenix, March 11, 2005
Assists: 7 versus Atlanta, February 22, 2004
Steals: 4 versus San Antonio, November 14, 2006
Blocks: 8 versus L.A. Lakers, December 15, 2006

(China.org.cn June 26, 2008)

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