Shanghai welcomes Yao Ming home

08:27, July 21, 2011      

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Shanghai welcomes her favorite son Yao Ming home as the NBA star announced his retirement from professional basketball on Wednesday.

"Welcome home, Yao Ming," said Shanghai sports chief Li Yuyi at Yao's farewell conference held in a five-star Shanghai hotel.

"Yao Ming won the hearts of countless fans with superb basketball skills and an engaging personality," Li said.

Li hailed Yao as an image of Shanghai and an ambassador promoting friendship with China and the rest of the world.

"Shanghai is proud of you," Li told Yao.

The 2.26-meter Shanghai native, who played for eight seasons in the NBA after being the top overall pick in the 2002 draft, called it quits after being troubled with a series of injuries.

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