MIAMI • Retired basketball star Yao Ming is set to be elected to receive his sport's high honour, by becoming China's first inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame, reported several United States media outlets.
Yao played for the the Houston Rockets for nine years in the National Basketball Association (NBA), and was China's first major star at the elite level before injuries cut short his career in 2011.
The 2.29m centre began his career with the Shanghai Sharks in the Chinese Basketball Association, before becoming the No. 1 overall selection in the 2002 NBA draft. He was an eight-time All-Star, averaging 19.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks a game for the Rockets over his NBA career.
Enshrinement ceremonies will be held next September at the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. Players can be considered for the Hall of Fame after being retired for four years.
In golf, however, officials announced on Wednesday the qualifying age for enshrinement had been raised to at least 50 rather than the prior age of 40, or have not actively played for five years.
That means 14-time Major champion Tiger Woods, 40, must now wait another decade for his chance, provided he keeps playing.
Said World Golf Hall of Fame president Jack Peter: "As players continue to elevate their fitness levels and play at a high level for a longer period of time, moving the age requirement to 50 ensures that we are able to celebrate their careers at the proper time."