China's Yao celebrates birth of first child

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Houston Rockets center Yao Ming and his wife Ye Li, a former basketball player with the Chinese national team, celebrated the birth of their first child on Friday.

"We are happy to announce the arrival of our daughter," seven-times NBA All-Star Yao, China's most popular sportsman, said in a statement. "This is a very special moment in our lives. We thank everyone for their support."

The seven-foot six-inch Yao, 29, has been sidelined from competition since having surgery on a hairline fracture in his left foot last July.

(Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)