Saturday, January 9, 2010

Great Expectations

The big news this week in China is that NBA basketball star Yao Ming and his wife Ye Li, also a former player on the Chinese women's basketball team, are expecting a baby.

Ever since the two tied the knot in 2007, speculation was rampant about when baby Yao would show up.

Apparently it was Ye's good friend Miao Li accidentally leaked the news on Monday in Shanghai when asked why Ye was not attending a 2010 Expo promotional event.

"Ye looks well now and sleeps early every day for the well being of the fetus. The couple hopes to have a boy," said Miao. "She was supposed to be with the show today, but I understand that it's inconvenient for her to come," Ye's former teammate added.

"The news that Ye Li is pregnant is true. Yao Ming and his wife would like to thank all those who are showing concern," confirmed Yao's China-based spokesman Zhang Chi.

He apparently declined to give any further details, citing "the need for a relaxed environment for China's most famous basketballing couple to complete the most important thing in their lives."

Now just about everyone in China, or at least the ones online are excited about the possibility of Yao and Ye's progeny becoming the next generation in Chinese basketball.

With dad standing at 2.29 meters and mom at 1.90 meters; in most fans' eyes, the kid is destined to be super tall.

"We hope that Yao Ming and Ye Li will go further and raise more pillars of the next generation of Chinese basketball," a report on sina.com said. As both Ye and Yao are only children, they are also eligible to have two children.

There is so much pressure already on this unborn child to make slam dunks, not only that, but to represent the country too.

In the west there really isn't that kind of an equivalent. While there might be a few initial jabs about David Beckham's three sons going into football, no one is really expecting them to follow suit. Or Andre Agassi's children to serve aces on the tennis court.

The same should be for Yao's kid(s). Just because he or she will be tall, it doesn't mean they want to play basketball. Of course the parents will encourage him/her, but as daddy makes so much money from endorsements, maybe that can shield his kid from having to be in the spotlight all the time.