Yao Ming has done so much good for basketball on and off the court, and his impact will be recognized with the ultimate individual honor: enshrinement in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported Wednesday, citing league sources, that Ming will be part of the 2016 Basketball Hall of Fame class. He was voted in through the international committee.
Ming was selected by the Houston Rockets with the No. 1 pick in the 2002 NBA Draft. He spent his entire NBA career with the Rockets and posted 19 points and 9.2 rebounds per game.
Ming was a dominant center throughout his career, but foot injuries prevented him from reaching his full potential and also cut short a few Rockets playoff runs. He retired after the 2010-11 season, during which he played just five games because of injuries. It was unfortunate because him and Tracy McGrady were one of the league’s best 1-2 punches.
The 35-year-old, 7-foot-6 center also helped grow the sport of basketball in China, a nation the NBA has seen incredible growth in for the last decade-plus.
Thumbnail photo via Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports Images