The Houston Rockets' star center Yao Ming officially retired from basketball on Wednesday.
Ming, 30, announced his retirement during a press conference in his hometown. The 7-fooot-6 center from China said at the end of last year he suffered a third foot fracture that caused him to leave the basketball court. Those injuries also forced him to retire.
He averaged 19 points and 9.2 rebounds throughout his career.
I will stop my career, Ming told the gathering on Wednesday. I will formally retire today.
Ming's family was present when he made the announcement.
Ming said he's been very grateful to play in the NBA because basketball has brought much happiness to people and to him. He thanked the Houston rockets for giving him a great nine years.
The NBA star began his career with the Houston Rockets in 2002 as the top draft pick. He played about eight seasons in the NBA, and about five games since the 2008 to 09 season because of the injuries.
The Associated Press said Ming missed 250 regular-season games over the past six years.
Retirement is not the end, Ming said, adding that when one door closes another will open.
That next door could be growing basketball in China.
The Associated Press reported that Ming will return to work with his former Chinese team, the Shanghai Sharks, with the possibility of becoming general manager.
Yao Ming has been a transformational player and a testament to the globalization of our game, NBA Comissioner David Stern said in a statement, as reported by The Associated Press. His dominant play and endearing demeanor along with his extensive humanitarian efforts have made him an international fan favorite and provided an extraordinary bridge between basketball fans in the United States and China.
Watch Ming announce his retirement below.