7. Yao Ming – Basketball

Yao Ming was the biggest thing in basketball to come out of China. We say “thing,” because Yao was more than a person, he was a movement.

The 7’6” center was selected No. 1 overall by the Houston Rockets and proved to be a force of nature.

The former CBA MVP (2001) and champion (2002) went on to be an All-Star in eight of his nine NBA seasons before a slew of ankle and foot injuries forced an early retirement.

Yao gave new meaning to the phrase gentle giant during his playing days, as the enormous center displayed one of the softest touches that brought an unexpected finesse to the game.

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