Former Houston Rockets center Yao Ming (226 cm) will be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. The announcement will be made in Houston during the NCAA Final Four. The 35-year-old Chinese big man spent his eight-year NBA career with the Houston Rockets, averaging 19.0 ppg and 9.2 rpg. He played from 2002 to 2011. Ming missed the entire 2009-10 season with a foot injury. Yao has been hampered with various injuries to his feet since 2005.
The affable gentle giant was a fantastic ambassador for the NBA. As the league’s first Chinese star, he opened the doors, nay, the floodgates for the NBA’s popularity in China and the rest of Asia. After retiring from the NBA, Yao returned to China, where he became involved in their pro league as part-owner of the Shanghai Sharks, the team where he spent most of his youth. Yao Ming is ranked as number one among the all-time best basketball players from Asia & Oceania.