Unborn baby Yao on people's lips

It maybe the most hotly-anticipated baby ever. Six months away from his/her birth, the baby of Yao Ming and his wife Ye li has already become a "celebrity". Name, nationality, gender, future profession and height, each issue has aroused frantic discussion among the fans and players.

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Some netizens have named the unborn baby "Yao Qianshu", which mandarin pronunciation means "cash cow". Some hope it would be boy-girl twins and name the boy "Yao Lan" and the girl "Yao Qiu" in hopes they will continue their parents' career. The combination of the first names "Lan Qiu" means basketball in Chinese.

It echoed the wish of Fan Bin, former Chinese men's national basketball player. "I hope they can have boy-girl twins so both the men's and women's side can have a bright future," Fan said. "If it's too hard for Ye Li (to have boy-girl twins), then they can have one this year and one by one every few years. Then we can see Yao Ming's children playing for China for a long time."

However, the couple hasn't decided where to deliver the baby, according to Yao's China-based spokesman Zhang Chi. Ye is still staying in their hometown Shanghai but if she flies to Huston - where she spends most of the year with Yao - to give the birth, the baby will be an American since China doesn't recognize duel citizenship.

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How tall will Yao Ming's child be? Survey

News that Ye Li, wife of Houston Rockets center Yao Ming, is pregnant obviously has attracted great attention at home and abroad.

The rumor was first revealed by Ye's close friend Miao Lijie, who is her former teammate on the National women's basketball team, when attending a show for Shanghai World Expo on Monday. The news was confirmed on Tuesday by Zhang Chi, a spokesman for Yao's China-based agents, who also said Ye is expected to deliver the baby in July.

Good news travels fast, as fans in Houston have already launched a survey at the local bbs today, speculating about how tall the child of Yao (2.26 m) and Ye (1.90 m) will be.

The current results show that 39 percent predict "little Yao's" height will surpass 2.00 m but no more than the father's 2.26 m. Of those polled, 23 percent think the child has a decent chance to top Yao Ming, and 29 percent believe the child will grow up to more than 2.40 m, with the remaining 9.4 percent believing that 2.00 m is the height limit for the child.

It seems that many fans' guesses are bold compared with those of medical experts. According to the calculations of medical experts, if the child is male, he probably will reach a height of between 2.00 m to 2.21 m, or 1.94m to 2.08 m if the child is female.

Yao Ming and Ye Li are staying in Shanghai now for the promotional work of the city's 2010 World Expo. Yao is also running Shanghai Sharks, a basketball club in Shanghai which he bought last summer.
(China daily)