2017 ISAKOS Biennial Congress Faculty
Professional Basketball Player
Yao Ming is one of China's best-known athletes. Currently retired, Ming was a professional basketball player who played for the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). At the time of his final season, he was the tallest active player in the NBA, at 7 feet 6 inches. He is the only player outside of the United States to lead the NBA in All-Star voting.
Born in Shanghai, Ming started playing for the CBA Shanghai Sharks as a teenager. After negotiating with the CBA and the Sharks to secure his release, Ming was selected by the Houston Rockets as the first overall pick in the 2002 NBA draft. He reached the NBA Playoffs four times, and the Rockets won a first-round series in the 2009 postseason—their first playoff series victory since 1997.
In July of 2011, Ming announced his retirement from professional basketball due to a series of foot and ankle injuries that forced him to miss 250 games in his last six seasons. In eight seasons with the Rockets, Yao ranks sixth among franchise leaders in total points and total rebounds, and second in total blocks. In April of 2016, Yao was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame—alongside Shaquille O'Neal and Allen Iverson.