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Yao Ming, China <
YaoMing.net: (Source: Jane Yin) Dozens of articles have been written about him, people crowd the lines to get tickets to his games, his name and picture are strewn all over the news. Although he's only a rookie, he has become a household name. But this year's NBA number one draft pick, soft-spoken, humorous Yao Ming is much more than a magnificent basketball player. He is an explorer and a pioneer. Reminiscing about his childhood dream, he says "I wanted to be adventurer and explore the world." He reveled in geography and history. His stellar basketball moves have allowed him to begin accomplishing his childhood dreams.
Yao Ming had one of the most exciting rookie years in NBA history. In the NBA, Yao Ming scored an average of 13.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 1.74 blocks per game, earning him unanimous NBA All-Rookie First Team honors. Yao reached three blocks 26 times, as Houston held a 22-4 record in these contests. He started at center for the Western Conference in the 2003 NBA All-Star Game after ranking fourth overall in All-Star balloting with 1,286,324 votes and was named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for December and February.
Off the court, Yao appeared on the covers of Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, ESPN the Magazine, SLAM, Inside Stuff and Basketball Digest during his rookie season. He also received the 2003 Laureus World Newcomer of the Year award and was featured in television commericals for Visa, Apple Computer and Gatorade. During the summer, he traveled back to China to play for the Chinese National Team and hosted a mutlinational telethon to raise funds to battle SARS.
Being dubbed as the "biggest story going in the draft," by C.M. Newton of the World Basketball Championships, you would never know by talking to him. With a warm smile, Yao loves to come home from a long day’s work to his mom's hearty Chinese meals in their Houston home. Although he misses hanging out with his friends and going to Internet Cafes to play video games in China, Houston is a second home to him now. Everyday, he reads American papers, such as USA Today, and watches television to continue to master his English. He can't wait to hop on a bike and ride all over Houston, just like he does in China.
Name: Yao Ming
Nickname: Ming Dynasty (USA), Little Giant (China)
Origin: Shanghai, China
Schools: Shanghai Sports College, Shanghai Physical & Sport Technic Education Institute, Shanghai Foreign Language Institute
Drafted: 2002, First Round, 1st overall pick by the Houston Rockets
Languages: Chinese (Mandarin) and English
Website: YaoMing.net & InterBasket
Teams (Jersey): Chinese National Team (13) Shanghai Sharks (15) Houston Rockets (11)
IBN Notes: Never has a combination of awesome size and skills come together in one package, what makes this combination odd is that it comes from far East, not exactly a hotbed for basketball prospects. But there he stands, 7-5 and 300lbs, Yao Ming is the center of the future; a better shooter than most point guards and definitely a lot more skilled than most centers, Ming has all the tools to be successful, but as of this writing, Yao lacks only the aggression and attitude that will propel him from promising pivot to complete domination of the center position.
Quotes: "(Yao's) a great player already. He's going to keep getting better. It's amazing how he already is playing in his first year. He deserves it. He's making the game more globalized. China is watching every game now. He brought a lot to the NBA. I think he deserves all the hype."
"Yao is the real thing. He can be a scary player." - (Dirk Nowitzki, 2003)
Yao Ming was voted the 2006 Interbasket Asian/Middle East/Oceania Player of the Year as well as a member of the 2006 Interbasket All-World First Team along with Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, and Pau Gasol
|From our forum: Yao Ming Photo Thread Yao vs. Shaq 5 Yao: 41pta, 16rbs, 7asts vs. Hawks in 3OT China Basketball Forum Article(s): The Time is Yao Next Athlete: Yao Ming (ESPN the magazine, Dec 25, 2000) Asian Heroes - Yao Ming (TIME Magazine, 2003) Yao Ming: NBA Giant Is Big in U.S., Bigger in China (National Geographic, May 30, 2003) Time for APAs to Embrace Yao Ming (AsianWeek.com, July 17, 2002)|