Homepage > News > Sports > 

Yao Ming's expected baby stirs fresh Yao fever in China

2010-01-07 09:06 BJT

SHANGHAI, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- YY: they don't mean much right now, but Chinese basketball fans hope these two initials could herald future victories for the national team.

"YY" looks certain to be the nickname of Houston Rockets star Yao Ming's first child, whose imminent arrival was broken on Chinese television on Monday by Miao Lijie, a friend of Yao's wife, Ye Li.

The letters are the twinned initials of Yao and Ye, explained Miao on a live TV show in Shanghai.

Miao, who plays alongside Ye on the Chinese women's basketball team, said Ye was quietly expecting the couple's first baby at home.

The news, which was later confirmed by Zhang Chi, Yao's spokesman in Shanghai, triggered a barrage of baby names on the Internet, as well as predictions about its height, gender and nationality.

Suggested names for the child are found in every major forum and portal. The most popular suggestion was Yao Yuchun in reference to Li Yuchun, winner of Super Girl, a nationwide singing contest.

The facial resemblance of Yao Ming and Li Yuchun has long been a hot topic on Chinese portals.

The name took the lead over traditional and auspicious Chinese names and those coined with basketball big names like Yao'neal, Yao Kobe.

Although sources of sina.com, one of China's largest portals, said the baby would not be born until May or June, fans have already made predictions on its eventual height.

According to on-line commentator "Li," who claims to be a doctor, a genetic equation show the height of a son would range from 2.075 to 2.215 meters and that of a daughter from 1.945 to 2.085 meters.