FIBA All-Star 5 -Yao,
day one, Yao Ming had the makings
of a basketball superstar in his blood.
Born on September 12, 1980, Yao entered
the world as the only son to mother
Fang Feng Di, and father Yao Zhi Yuan
(both of whom stood over six feet
tall). While growing up as an abnormally
tall child in Shanghai, China, Yao
was introduced to the sport of basketball
at an early age.
was the first-ever No. 1 overall pick
to come from an international basketball
league and became the third Chinese
player in NBA history, following Wang
Zhizhi and Mengke Bateer.
Yao received his first formal basketball
training when he joined the Youth
Sports School at age nine. During
the mid-1990s, China's appreciation
of basketball began to grow at a rapid
pace. Due to the rising popularity
of the sport, the Chinese Basketball
Association (CBA) was created, and
Yao seized his next golden opportunity.
He joined the Shanghai Sharks during
the 1997-'98 season and the 17-year-old
seven-footer (at least) shone as the
team's man in the middle. He
was named to the Chinese National
Team at age 18. During 2000 Sydney
Olympic he scored 10.5 points per
game with team-leading averages of
6.0 rebounds and 2.2 blocked shots.
In the 2002 FIBA World Championship
Games, received All-Tournament Team
recognition after posting team-leading
averages of 21.0 points (on .753 shooting),
9.3 rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots
for China ... among tournament leaders,
ranked first in both field goal percentage
and blocked shot average and third
in both scoring average and rebounding
average ... recorded tournament single-game
individual highs with 38 points and
eight blocked shots vs. Algeria ...
logged his best rebounding effort
vs. Angola, registering 15 boards
with 27 points.
Thanks to his rising popularity all
over the world Yao can be seen
in TV shows, on first page covers
of famous magazines and commercials.
- 2003 first place at Asian Championships, China qualifies for Athens 2004
- 2002 World Championships participation
- Earned unanimous NBA All-Rookie First Team honors after averaging 13.5 points with 8.2 rebounds and 1.74 blocks in 82 games(2002-03) Reached three blocks 26 times, as Houston held a 22-4 record in these contests (2002-03)
Started at center the Western Conference in the 2003 NBA All-Star Game after ranking fourth overall in All-Star balloting with 1,286,324 votes
Named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for December and February
Posted a career-high six assists vs. Sacramento on 2/2/03
Posted the highest field goal percentage in NBA history over a six-game stretch, making 31-of-35 shot attempts for an accuracy of 88.6 percent from 11/9/02 - 11/21/02
Tied a career high, Rockets individual season high and NBA rookie season high with six blocks vs. the L.A. Lakers on 1/17/03
Set a career high and Rockets individual season high with 19 rebounds at Sacramento on 3/23/03
- Scored 20 points on a perfect nine-for-nine shooting against the LA Lakers on 11/17/02