Yao Ming was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame last week.
The 7-foot-6 Yao received the honor alongside game giants Shaquille O’Neal and Allen Iverson.
“When I look up to the rooftop and all the pictures up there, I think of my picture up there,” Yao told CCTV America. “I can’t stop from thinking how many stories behind it and all those stories build up today and what we have.”
Arguably China’s greatest basketball export, Yao arrived in the U.S. as the the first pick in the draft for the Houston Rockets in 2002, at age 22. He would go on to become a basketball superstar, an eight-time NBA All-Star. Yao retired in 2011, and now owns China’s Shanghai Sharks.
Yao gave an acceptance speech inside Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, where he thanked both his parents and the Rockets. “I consider Houston my second home,” Yao said. “I want to say something to Houston. You stood by me in good and bad times. You gave me strength to move forward. I will always consider you family. I’m a Texan and a Houston Rocket for life.”