Star Chinese center Yao Ming of the National Basketball Association's Houston Rockets has married his long-time girlfriend in a lavish private ceremony in Shanghai, China.
The 2.26 meter Yao and his 1.9 meter tall bride, Ye Li, were married Monday in a Chinese-style ceremony at the Shangri-La Hotel. A statement released on behalf of the couple said the three-hour wedding ceremony was attended by more than 70 family members.
Scores of security guards patrolled the hotel to ensure privacy from the media for the couple and their guests.
The 27-year-old Yao and the 25-year-old Ye, who plays on China's national women's basketball team, met as teenagers in 1999 when Yao played for the Shanghai Sharks.