Yao Ming is a Chinese American Basketball Executive and former professional player. He played for Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association and Houston Rockets of National Basketball Association. He was the tallest active player during his final season at 7 ft 6 in. He was selected to start the Western Conference in NBA eight times and ALL NBA team five times.
Early and Personal Life:
Ming was born on 12th September 1980 in Shanghai, China. He was born to accomplished Basketball playing parents. From a very young age, he was tall, and at the age of 12, he started attending the local sports academy and started practicing Basketball.
In the 2004 Olympics closing ceremony, Ming appeared with a Chinese female basketball player Ye Li and their relationship became public. On 6th August 2007, they got married which was closed to the media. They have a daughter named Yao Qinlei.
As a teenager, he started playing for Shanghai Sharks and played on the senior team for five years, winning the championship in his final year. Ming is one of the most well-known athletes in China with sponsorships from major companies. After negotiations with CBA, he joined Houston Rockets in the 2002 draft. The game caused him various foot and ankle injuries due to which in July 2011, he announced his retirement.
He has an autobiography entitled Yao: A Life in Two Worlds. He also has a documentary film The Year of the Yao that focuses on his NBA rookie year. Yao has also provided the voice for the character The Magic Aster, which is a Chinese animation film. Then he enrolled at Antai College of Economics and Management and graduated with a Degree in Economics in 2018.
He has been a major supporter of the Special Olympics, and he serves as its Global Ambassador and member of the International Board of Directors. He also bought his former club Shanghai Sharks, in 2009. He is also an ambassador for Elephant Conservation.
Some major achievements of Yao are:
8 x NBA All-star (2003,2004,2005,2006,2007,2008,2009,2011)
NBA All-Rookie First Team (2003)
NBA All-Rookie All-Star Games (2004)
FIBA Diamond Ball Top Scorer (2004)
In 2009, he led Forbes Chinese Celebrity list in income and popularity for six years earning approximately $31 million in 2008. His current estimated net worth is around $120 million.
A major part of his income included sponsorship deals. He was signed by Nike when he was a rookie. He had a deal with Pepsi and had sued Coca-Cola when they used his image but eventually signed with Coca-Cola during the 2008 Olympics. When he was a player, he endorsed various brands such as Reebok, Visa, McDonald’s, Yanjing, Apple, as his sponsors. He has also personally invested in restaurants and Basketball clubs. He is also the seventh biggest shareholder in a company called “Blues Design.”
Ming lives in Shanghai, and the house is estimated to value around $3.99 million. He owns a variety of luxurious brands of cars like Geely and BMW. He also owns a yacht.