Male Celebrity of the Month March 2008
Yao Ming (Chinese: 姚明) (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). 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 Ming is currently listed as the tallest player in the NBA at a height of 7'6". In the 2002 NBA draft camp Yao Ming was listed as having a barefoot height of 7'5" with a comparatively short armspan of 7'4.75" and a standing reach of 9'7". In shoes Yao Ming was listed at 7'6.25".
Early life and pre-CBA career
Yao was born to a 6'7"(2.01 m) father, Yao Zhiyuan, and a 6'3" (1.90 m) mother, Fang Fengdi. His mother was the captain of the women’s national team that won the first Asian Championship in 1976.Yao's birth weight was 11 pounds, twice the average size in China. He was 5' by age ten, and 6'7" (2 meters) by age thirteen. He developed a sickness at age seven that resulted in him losing his hearing in his left ear.
Through 53 games, Yao Ming and the Houston Rockets have a record of 33-20. He is currently averaging 22.2 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.2 blocks per game while compiling 30 double-doubles. On January 24, 2008, It was announced that Yao will start at center for the Western Conference in the 2008 All-Star game for the 6th consecutive season since entering the league in 2002. Yao led all Western Conference centers with 1,709,180 votes. He is currently considered by many to be the best center in the NBA.
On February 26, 2008, it was reported that Yao Ming will miss the rest of the 2008 season due to a stress fracture in his left foot. He was expected to miss the 2008 NBA playoffs but Morey doesn't expect him to miss the 2008 Beijing Olympics in August. The Rockets went on to beat the Wizards 94-69 in a blowout. Before the announcement of Yao's injury, the Rockets were considered a good contender to qualify for the championship tournament in a very good Western Conference.
Yao Ming is married to Ye Li, a Chinese women's basketball player, whom he met when he was seventeen. Ye was not fond of Yao at first, but finally accepted him after he gave her team pins from the 2000 Olympics. The wedding was set on August 5 2007, laying to rest weeks of media speculation about the national hero's wedding date. Yao settled on an exclusive guest list that did not include any Chinese basketball officials, teammates or coaches.Yao married Ye on August 6, 2007.
Yao has participated in several charity events during his career. During the NBA's offseason in 2003, Yao hosted a telethon, which raised $300,000 to help stop the spread of SARS. In 2006, Yao Ming promised never to eat shark fin soup again, in order to raise awareness of wildlife protection. He has also participated in the NBA's Basketball Without Borders program. On September 14, 2007, he competed in a charity basketball match to raise money for a Chinese children's charity. Yao Ming has several sponsorship deals, including the 2008 Beijing Olympics, McDonald’s, Pepsi, Visa, Apple, Reebok, and Garmin.
Movie Clips courtesy of mjiak23, aznballer1717 & reutersvideo./span>
Gaint Yao Ming SHoe's size 7'6.25".