SHANGHAI, July 20 (Xinhua) -- Yao Ming announced his retirement from basketball here on Wednesday.
"Today is an important day for me and holds a special meaning for both my basketball career and my future," Yao said.
"I had to leave the court since I suffered stress fracture in my left foot for the third time at the end of last year. My past six months was an agonizing wait. I had been thinking (about my future) over and over.
"Today I announced a personal decision: I ends my career as a basketball player and officially retire."
The 2.26-meter Shanghai native, who played for eight seasons in the NBA after being the top overall pick in the 2002 draft, has been troubled with a series of injuries.
Yao, who will turn 31 in September, averaged 19 points and 9.2 rebounds and has been named to the NBA All-star team eight times.