Yao Ming

Yao Ming

Basketball Player

Yao Ming is a Chinese basketball executive and former professional player. He played for the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association and the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association.

Full Name
Sep 12, 1980
7′ 6″
Net Worth


Yao Ming was born on September 12, 1980, in Shanghai, China. He is a Chinese professional basketball player who played for the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Yao stands at 7 ft 6 in tall, making him one of the tallest players in NBA history. 

Yao began playing basketball at age nine and soon joined the Shanghai Sharks junior team, which won three consecutive titles between 1994 and 1997. During this time, he gained attention from scouts around the world and eventually became the first international player to be selected first overall in an NBA draft when he was chosen by the Houston Rockets in 2002. 

In his rookie season with Houston, Yao averaged 13.5 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game. He was later named an All-Star for eight straight seasons from 2003 to 2011 before injuries cut his career short in 2011. In addition to his success on the court, Yao also made a name for himself off the court as a global ambassador for basketball and even formed his own charity foundation to improve education opportunities across Asia. 

Yao retired from basketball in 2011 due to recurring foot and leg injuries but remains involved with basketball as an executive member of both CBA and FIBA. He currently serves as president of CBA side Shanghai Sharks as well as general manager of Team China's men's basketball program.

Life Timeline

<div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">1980</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">Yao Ming is Born</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">On September 12, 1980, Yao Ming is born in Shanghai, China.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">1997</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">Joins the Shanghai Sharks</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">Yao joins the Chinese Basketball Association's Shanghai Sharks.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">2002</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">Selected 1st Overall in NBA Draft</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">On June 26, 2002, Yao was selected first overall in the NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">2003</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">Named to All Star Game</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">Yao is named to his first All Star Game and becomes the first international player to start in an All Star Game.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">2008</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">Retires from Basketball</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">After suffering a series of injuries, Yao retires from basketball after just eight seasons.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">2012</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">Yao is inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, becoming the first international player to receive this honor.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="timeline-item"><p id="" class="timeline-year">2019</p><h3 id="" class="timeline-title">Elected to China's National People's Congress</h3><p id="" class="timeline-text">Yao is elected to China's National People's Congress as a member of the Communist Party.</p></div>

Why We Love Them

<div id="" class="whywelove-item"><h3 id="" class="whywelove-title"><span class="whywelove-leter">A.</span> He's an Inspiring Role Model</h3><p id="" class="whywelove-text">Yao Ming is an inspiring role model to young athletes. Not only was he a great basketball player, but he also worked hard to overcome language and cultural barriers to make it in the NBA. He is an example of how dedication and hard work can pay off.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="whywelove-item"><h3 id="" class="whywelove-title"><span class="whywelove-leter">B.</span> He's a Great Athlete</h3><p id="" class="whywelove-text">Yao Ming is a great athlete. He was an eight-time All-Star, five-time All-NBA Team selection, and two time Olympic medalist. During his career, he led the Houston Rockets to four straight playoff appearances and was even inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="whywelove-item"><h3 id="" class="whywelove-title"><span class="whywelove-leter">C.</span> He's a Philanthropist</h3><p id="" class="whywelove-text">Yao Ming is also a philanthropist who has donated millions of dollars to various charities and causes. In 2008, he founded the Yao Ming Foundation which helps improve education for children in rural China and raises awareness about animal protection in China.</p></div>

Interesting Facts

<div id="" class="facts-item"><h3 id="" class="facts-title"><span class="facts-number">1.</span> Tallest Player in NBA History</h3><p id="" class="facts-text">Yao Ming is the tallest player to ever play in the National Basketball Association at 7' 6". He was also one of the tallest players in international basketball history.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="facts-item"><h3 id="" class="facts-title"><span class="facts-number">2.</span> Youngest Player to Receive All-Star Voting</h3><p id="" class="facts-text">At just 21 years old, Yao Ming became the youngest player to receive All-Star voting in 2003.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="facts-item"><h3 id="" class="facts-title"><span class="facts-number">3.</span> First Chinese Citizen to Play in the NBA</h3><p id="" class="facts-text">Yao Ming was the first Chinese citizen to ever be drafted in the NBA and he played his first game with the Houston Rockets in 2002.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="facts-item"><h3 id="" class="facts-title"><span class="facts-number">4.</span> Most Popular NBA Player Overseas</h3><p id="" class="facts-text">Yao Ming was one of the most popular NBA players outside of the US, especially in China, where his jersey was the best-selling basketball jersey of all time.</p></div>

    <div id="" class="facts-item"><h3 id="" class="facts-title"><span class="facts-number">5.</span> Endorsed Over 20 Companies</h3><p id="" class="facts-text">During his playing career, Yao Ming endorsed over 20 companies, making him one of the highest paid athletes in China.</p></div>


Arrow icon

Arrow icon

Arrow icon