SHANGHAI, July 20 (Xinhua) -- Chinese basketball star Yao Ming announced on Wednesday to wrap up his professional career with the Houston Rockets.
"As a basketball player, I decided to put an end to my basketball career. I retire officially," Yao said in his retirement statement.
At the press conference, Yao said, "I retire completely from the professional basketball point of view, but my basketball career has not come to an end. There are many ways to extend my basketball career."
Yao did not answer the question about his possibility of competing at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Yao's retirement was highly expected after American media reported on July 9 that the Rockets center had planned to quit.