Who is Ye Li? – Beautiful Wife of NBA Legend Yao Ming

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Ye Li is a former Chinese professional basketball player who played at the 2004 Summer Olympics as a Chinese national basketball team member.

On the other hand, Ye Li is the beloved wife of Yao Ming, a professional former basketball player. Yao Ming is the only Chinese basketball player to have joined the NBA.

Another factor that makes Ye stand out from the others is her height. At 6 feet 3 inches, barely anyone can avoid her.

Ye Li is also a former basketball player
Ye Li is also a former basketball player.

Though Ye Li had not had a long basketball career through a similar profession, she found her love of life, Yao Ming.

In this article, we are digging more in Ye Li’s life. But before that, let’s check about some quick facts about her.

Quick Facts

Full Name Ye Li (叶莉)
Birth Date November 20, 1981
Birth Place Shanghai, East China
Zodiac Sign Scorpio
Common Name Ye Li
Religion Unknown
Nationality Chinese
Ethnicity Asian
Father’s Name Unknown
Mother’s Name Unknown
Sibling Unknown
Father in Law’s Name Fang Fengdi
Mother in Law’s Name Yao Zhiyuan
University University of Houston
Age 42 years old
Height 6’3″/191 cm 
Weight 58 kg/128 lbs
Body Build Athletic
Hair Colour Black
Eye Colour Black
Profession Former Basketball Player
Career Achievement Played six games during the 2004 Summer Olympics
Other Profession Starred in an awareness campaign short movie  
Marital Status Married in August 2007 
Husband Yao Ming
Dating Period Nine Years
Daughter Yao Qinlei ( May 21, 2010)
Husband’s Profession Former Basketball Player in NBA 
Positions Centre
Affiliations Houston Rockets (2002-2011)
Net Worth Not Available
Social Media None
Yao Ming’s Merch Jersey, Rookie Card
Last Update May, 2024

Ye Li: Early Life & Career

Ye Li, of Chinese ancestry, was born in Shanghai, East China. Unfortunately, information about her family background and her childhood is not found anywhere.

According to some sources, Li attended the University of Houston and had appeared on many Rockets home games. In 1999, when she was playing for Shanghai Sharks.

But it is a known fact that Ye Li was selected as a member of the Chinese Basketball Team to represent China in the 2004 Olympics, held in the city of Athina, Athens. This moment is memorable to her to this date.

Unfortunately, Ye Li didn’t have a long basketball career. She only played a total of six games in her career. But, during her active years, Ye Li showed some excellent performance. 

Career Achievements

Li’s first match was against the Korean team, where her team won the game with 71-54 points. She bagged one block, two turnovers, eight total rebounds, and 8 points in the game.

The next game against Spain did not go well for her team. They lost by 8 points difference. In this game, Ye Li bagged two turnovers, six total rebounds, and 12 points.

Her performance was getting better with each game, and in the third game, she showed lots of improvement. Ye Li recorded four turnovers, two assists, one total rebound, and 16 points.

She made nine turnovers, four steals, two assists, 18 total rebounds, and 32 points in the rest of the three games.

Ye Li: Age, Height & Weight

Born on November 20, 1981, Ye Li is 42 years old. She is a very gracious lady with an infectious smile and rocking short hair.

Of course, she was an athlete and had a fit athletic body. Surpassing the average height of Asian women, Ye Li stands 6 feet and 3 inches.

Young Ye Li
Young Ye Li

Judging from the pictures, Ye Li must weigh around 58 kg.

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Ye Li: Lovestory with NBA Star Yao Ming

Ye Li met Yao Ming when they shared the same training camp called Shanghai Youth Sports School. Coming from the same professional background, Li being part of the Women’s Basketball Team, and Yao Ming, part of the Men’s Basketball Team, couple made a bond.

Yao Ming fell for the Ye Li firstly, and while recalling the past, he said it was profound. They both had good first impressions of each other. While Ye found Yao mature and stable, at the same time, Yao found Yi beautiful as a goddess.

In fact, Yao Ming had a significant crush on Yi and tried his best to impress her by buying lots of gifts or finding her favorite food.

Not to mention, Yao once spent all his savings on buying Ye Li’s favorite dish called Haagen-Dazs, a luxurious dish at that time.

When Ye Li found out, she was hesitant to accept the food. But still thought it’d be rude not to. So, she shared it with her teammates. 

Despite the setbacks, Yao didn’t give up and was trying to impress Ye Li anyhow. Doesn’t it look like some teenager romantic movie plotline? We have to say; Ye Li is quite a lucky woman.

Dating History

Ye Li and Yao Ming had more encounters in the national and Shanghai teams as time went by. 

In 2000, Li’s basketball team missed the Olympic games. Ye Li was very upset, and to cheer her up, Yao collected Olympic medals to give to Ye Li.

Ye Li and Yao Ming’s wedding picture was taken in Linan China. (Source: chron.com)

In 2002, Yao Ming got selected in NBA and went to the United States. Despite being overseas, he had only Ye Li on his mind.

All the efforts made by Yao had melted Li’s heart too. So on Valentine’s day, Ye Li also bought a present and gave it to Ming, who had feeling for her for a long time.

Ye Li’s husband Yao Ming once said :

“T have only fallen in love with one girl in my life, and she is also my wife Ye Li! So I will not become an expert in relations between men and women.”

Likewise, both came out in public as a couple during the 2004 Athens Olympics closing ceremony.

After that, they were spotted together many times, and Yao even mentioned Li in his various interviews. Moreover, Ming wore the red wristband made by Ye throughout his NBA career. 

Marriage & Kids

After seven years of dating, the lovebirds tied the knot in August 2007. Yao and Ye Li held a private wedding ceremony at the Pudong Shangri-La, and around 40 people were invited.

Later, on May 21, 2010, Li and Yao Ming were blessed with a baby girl in Houston, Texas, USA. They named her Yao Qinlei (Amy English name). 

A Look in Yao Ming’s Life

Yao Ming, the international player, was born on September 12, 1980, in Shanghai, China. Ming comes from a family of professional basketball players and is an only child of the family. Father Yao Zhiyuan and mother Fang Fengdi were both basketball players.

Yao attended Shanghai No. 2 secondary school and later went to Shanghai Jia Tong University. 

At 7 feet 6 inches, Ming is the tallest player in the NBA. Ming’s unique height is considered advantageous on the basketball court, and the height made his journey in NBA successful.

Due to his interest in basketball from his teenage, he joined Sharks Junior played there for some time. Later, he went to Shanghai Sharks to develop his skills.

Then, for five years, Ming played for Sharks and helped them win the Chinese Basketball Association in his final year.

Soon, at 22, Yao Ming caught the attention of the Houston Rockets of the NBA; Houston made a negotiation with the Sharks, got drafted in the 2002 NBA Draft.

Ming is currently president of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA).

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Net Worth

Ye Li’s net worth is not disclosed yet. However, in the past, she was a basketball player and might have made some bucks. Later, she retired, got married, and had a child.

On the other hand, her husband Ming has an estimated net worth of $120 million. Ming had quite a successful NBA career, and alongside, he has his own wine company Napa Valley and Sharks basketball franchise.

Shanghai Sharks was Li’s and Ming’s former training school, which the couple bought in 2009 and renamed. 

Social Media Presence

Li is a private person and is not present on any social media platform. We can see her pictures only when she attends some public events; otherwise, it is rare to see her photos.

But her husband Yao Ming has nearly 523k followers on Instagram and 196.6k followers on Twitter

Yao has not shared any pictures related to his personal life, about his wife and daughter.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are Ye Li and her husband Yao Ming actors also?

Yao Ming, along with his wife Li, was featured in the short movie back in 2013. It was a public-service movie to bring awareness regarding the dangers of drunk driving.

Since Yao Ming is a national hero, he and his wife acted in a movie so that more and more people would know about the issue. 

 What is the relation between Yao Ming, Ye Li, and Majestic Princess?

NBA All-Star and wife Li were chosen to serve as Inaugural Cruise Ambassadors for Princess Cruises in China in 2018.

It was a grand ceremony for a week on the ship’s maiden cruises, and the couple christened Majestic Princess in a gala ceremony.

Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah
Sanjib Sah is an engineer and content writer passionate about sports and athletics. With a background in engineering and a love for all things active, Sanjib brings a unique perspective to the world of sports writing. Whether he is covering the latest trends in sports technology or sharing tips on improving your game, Sanjib's words are always rooted in a deep appreciation for players' hard work and dedication everywhere. In his free time, you can find him hitting the courts or hitting the trails, always looking for new ways to challenge himself and improve his skills.

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