Yao Ming was born on September 12, 1980 in Shanghai, China. Both his mom, 6-3, and dad, 6-10, were well-known basketball players in China. He started playing when he was nine, and he wasn't that good. By age 12, Yao was as tall as Michael Jordan today (6-6). At age 14, he tried out for a very competitive team, the Shanghai Sharks. Yao made the final cut. During that season, Yao saw his first NBA basketball game. It was Game 1 of the 1994 NBA Finals between the Houston Rockets and the New York Knicks. That's when basketball made it's biggest impression on him.
In 1997, age 17, he visited the U.S for the first time. He played in an international basketball tournament in San Diego. He also attended Michael Jordan's camp in Santa Barbara. He really began to work hard so that he could play in the NBA. His scoring average went from 10.2 to 32.6 points a game. In China, Yao played against the U.S team that featured NBA All-Stars like Tim Duncan, Vince Carter, and Kevin Garnett. A few years ago, the Houston Rockets were the worst team in the league. In 2002, the Rockets already had an All-Star guard in Steve Francis but they needed a big man in their lineup. Houston won the draft lottery and chose Yao for their first pick. When he finally came to Houston people were wondering if he was worth the wait.
The future is extremely bright for Yao. He's expected to have a long a and successful NBA career. Yao is a good shooter and an awesome passer. Yao's presence under the basket changes the whole game because opponents think twice about trying to score on this 7-5 center. At 24 years old Yao is already one of the best centers in the NBA.
Yao works hard on the court to help his team become champions. And he works hard off the court to make the world a better place because he donates his time to many good causes. In China, Yao hosted a telethon to raise money to find a cure for a disease called SARS. The telethon raised more that 00,000....