Yahoo and “The Vertical” writer Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Yao Ming will be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame this September.
— The Vertical (@TheVertical) March 30, 2016
Ming was the 1st pick of the 2002 NBA Draft and averaged 19 points, 9.2 rebounds and just under 2 blocks in his eight-year NBA career before nagging foot and leg injuries caused him to retire at the age of 30.
He made five All-NBA teams and eight all-star appearances in his eight year career and his matchups with Shaquille O’Neal in his first couple seasons were a true spectacle.
Yao Ming was revolutionary for the league and the game of basketball in many ways as he was a 7’6″ center with a touch of gracefulness to his game you just don’t see in players his size. He also is a hero to the Chinese people and helped make the NBA the sensation in the far east that it is today. He opened the door for Chinese basketball players to dream of playing on the biggest stage. He made the NBA game a worldwide phenomenon in far east Asia just as much as Michael Jordan and the Dream Team did in Europe and other areas of the world in 1992.
Although injuries derailed what could have been a truly special career, Ming still made his mark on and off the court and is deserving of this honor.
Other notable candidates who are likely to be enshrined this September include Shaq, Allen Iverson, former WNBA player Sheryl Swoopes and Michigan State Basketball Head Coach Tom Izzo.