Yao Ming Bows Out

Chinese basketball star Yao Ming has officially retired from NBA in his hometown of Shanghai Wednesday, due to a succession of foot and leg injuries.

Yao, 30, publicly announced his retirement at a press conference in Shanghai on Wednesday after previously telling the Houston Rockets he would not be continuing with the franchise next season.

An eight-time NBA All-Star who averaged 19 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, Yao greatly increased Chinese interest in basketball after being drafted from the Shanghai Sharks to the Rockets.Selected by the Rockets as the first overall pick in the 2002 NBA draft, he averaged 19 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in his ensuing nine-year career.

“Today, I announce a personal decision. I end my career as a basketball player and officially retire,” Yao said at a press conference, accompanied by his parents, wife and daughter.

“I had to leave the court when I suffered a stress fracture in my left foot for the third time at the end of last year. The past six months have been an agonizing wait. I have been thinking about it over and over,” the 2.26-meter center said.

“Basketball has given me so much and I want to thank the game.”

“I had to leave the court since I suffered a stress fracture in my left foot for the third time at the end of last year. My past six months were an agonising wait.”

“I had been thinking over and over. Today I am announcing a personal decision, ending my career as a basketball player and officially retire.”

Yao intends to take up an administrative role with former team Shanghai.

NBA commissioner David Stern has said he will offer the former number one draft pick a role within the league.

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