While the rest of the NBA was looking for the next great prospect from Europe, Yao Ming forced NBA scouts to instead consider the Far East as a potential location for future NBA players. Yao’s parents 6’7 and 6’3, meaning he was virtually “genetically engineered” to play basketball; he was 5’5 — taller than the average American woman — before he turned 10 years old.
By the time he was 18 years old, he was already playing for the Shanghai Sharks junior team of the Chinese Basketball Association, and his combination of size (he stood 7’6) and basketball skills were virtually unprecedented. That’s why the Houston Rockets selected him with the #1 overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft. Check out the image below… Look how much taller he is than ALL of his teammates!