THE Houston Rockets announced they will retire Yao Ming's jersey No. 11.
The announcement was made on Friday by Rockets owner Leslie Alexander during the team's media day. The ceremony would be held at the Toyota Center during a nationally televised game against the Atlanta Hawks on February 2, 2017 (Feb.3, Manila).
Yao was selected as the 1st overall pick by Houston in the 2002 NBA Draft. The 7-6 center from China played nine seasons for the Rockets. In 486 games with the team, Yao posted per game averages of 19 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks. He is an eight-time All-Star and named to the All-NBA Second Team twice. Several injuries forced Yao to a premature retirement.
The 36-year old global icon was recently inducted in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame that included NBA superstars Shaquille O'Neal and Allen Iverson.
The No. 11 jersey will be raised and put alongside those worn by Rockets stalwarts that include Hakeem Olajuwon (No.34), Clyde Drexler (No.22) and Moses Malone (No.24).