InterBasket > profiles > Yao
  InterBasket > Player Profiles > Yao Ming, China < page 2 (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.

Ming Yao Profile

Yao Ming
Postion: Center
Nickname: Ming Dynasty (USA), Little Giant (China)
Born: 09/12/1980
Origin: Shanghai, China
Status: Active
Height: 7-6/2,26m
Weight: 296lbs./134,3kg.
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: & 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  (, July 17, 2002)

Yao Ming, do yo thing  Rockets 108, Lakers 104, OT
By Michael A. Lutz, The Associated Press

HOUSTON - Yao Ming made it clear early that he belonged on the same court with Shaquille O'Neal. And the 7-foot-6 Chinese rookie was there at the end to score the biggest basket of the game.

In one of the most hyped matchups of the season, Yao blocked O'Neal's first three shots, altered Kobe Bryant's attempt at the end of regulation and dunked with 10.2 seconds left as Houston beat the Los Angeles Lakers 108-104 in overtime Friday night.

Yao's big start didn't last very long. He faded in the mid-portion of the game but he came back in the closing minutes to help the Rockets pull out the overtime victory. O'Neal outscored his young rival and also gained Yao's respect.

"He's like a Truck," Yao said, happy to have his first game against O'Neal over. "I felt like I was under water for a long time and now I could finally breathe."

O'Neal, finished with the better statistical line - 31 points, 13 rebounds and four assists to Yao's 10 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks.

"At the beginning, I told myself I'd do my best because he is one of the most important parts of the Lakers," Yao said. "I don't know how to describe it because I've never encountered someone that strong."

The Yao-Shaq battle was almost overshadowed by the exciting game and by Steve Francis, who scored a career-high 44 points and turned a broken play into the biggest play of the game when he passed to Yao for a dunk with 10.2 left in overtime for a 104-100 lead.

"He's a classy guy," O'Neal said of Yao. "I was looking forward to playing him. He's a great player. It's another challenge for me."

Cuttino Mobley added 29 for Houston and for the Lakers, Kobe Bryant shot just 5-for-21 and finished with 22 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.

A sellout crowd of 16,285 delighted at the start when Yao made three of his first four shots, missed his next seven - all of them turnarounds and fadeaways, and made his last one - the dunk that gave Houston a 104-100 lead.

Francis hit one of his six 3-point baskets with 13 seconds left in regulation play for a 92-92 tie.

O'Neal scored the Lakers' first six points of overtime, all of them with impressive power moves against Yao. The final one was a dunk with 1:27 left that cut Houston's lead to 99-98.

O'Neal then committed a flagrant foul against Francis, and coach Phil Jackson got a technical for arguing. The three free throws made it 102-98. Yao was called for a foul trying to block Robert Horry's dunk attempt with 33.6 seconds remaining, and the two free throws made it a two-point game.

For all of his scoring, Francis' pass to Yao was also a big contribution to the victory.

"It was a broken play, like a quarterback scrambling," Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. "Everyone was running at Steve and it was like he was about to be sacked. Then he broke through to Yao. Touchdown."

Yao and O'Neal exchanged handshakes and a brief hug as they walked off the court.

Prior to the opening tip, O'Neal walked up to Yao and said something into his ear, drawing a smile and a nod from Yao. The Rockets usually have Eddie Griffin jump for the opening tip, but this time Francis motioned to Yao that be should do the honors against O'Neal.

Referee Dick Bavetta tossed the ball up, and O'Neal won the tip.