Basketball is one of the sports that impresses many women with the tall and towering appearances of the players. In this article, let’s explore everything about the top 10 tallest basketball players in the world.
Why is height important in basketball?
Basketball is a one-on-one combat sport between two teams, and the team that scores more points wins. In basketball competitions, not only experience and physical fitness are important, but having an impressive height also brings advantages. Why is that?
- Help athletes cover the entire court: Good height allows players to reach higher ball positions, making it easier for them to shoot the ball into the basket or block the opponent’s shot.
- Enhance ball control: Height helps players have better ball control, especially when the ball is in the air. Combining height with jumping ability provides favorable conditions for players to make contact with the ball at high positions and hold onto it longer.
- Facilitate effective shot blocking: Thanks to their reach and tall stature, athletes with good height can block shots or perform accurate and high dunking moves.
- Make scoring easier for athletes: Impressive height also gives players a competitive advantage in scoring. Most players with good stature have higher vertical jumps and can position their hands closer to the basket, making scoring easier.
- It can be concluded that height is a crucial factor in basketball. However, that’s not the whole story. For a basketball player, agility, technique, and intelligence are also essential.
Who is the tallest basketball player in the world today?
The tallest basketball player in the world today is Sun Mingming, standing at a height of 7 feet 9 inches (2.36 meters) according to international measurements. He was born on August 23, 1983, in Beijing, China.
Sun Mingming began playing basketball in 2001 and quickly gained fame. Besides his incredibly ideal height, he is highly regarded for his excellent and diverse basketball skills. This is also evident from the achievements he has accomplished throughout his career.
He won the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) championship three times while playing for the Bayi Rockets and Beijing Ducks. He won the Asean Basketball League championship while playing for the Philippine Patriots in 2010. He competed in the United States with the Maryland Nighthawks and Dodge City Legend basketball teams. He won the CBA National Championship with the Maryland Nighthawks in 2007.
To commemorate his remarkable contributions to basketball, a documentary film titled “Mingming & The Tallest Basketball Team in China” was made, depicting his life and the Chinese basketball team he played for.
Top 10+ Tallest Basketball Players in the World
In addition to Sun Mingming, the world of basketball is also home to other “giant dinosaurs” with exceptional talents. Here are the top 14 basketball players who possess heights even taller than the average height of men in the Netherlands, the tallest nation in the world.
1. Gheorghe Muresan – 7 feet 7 inches (2.31 meters)
Gheorghe Muresan has played for several teams in the United States and is known as the “Giant of Romania.”
Some notable achievements in Muresan’s career include:
- 1995-1996 Season: Named the NBA Most Improved Player and selected to the NBA All-Rookie First Team.
- During the 1995-1996 season, he averaged 14.5 points and 9.6 rebounds per game for the Washington Bullets.
- Participated in the 1986 World Championships and won a gold medal with the Romanian national basketball team.
However, Muresan’s career was threatened by consecutive injuries, resulting in fewer games played compared to his peers. After retiring, Muresan continued to engage in charitable and community activities in Romania.
2. Slavko Vranes – 7 feet 7.3 inches
Slavko Vranes, born in 1983, is a basketball player known for his towering height of 7 feet 7.3 inches (2.32 meters). He began his basketball career in Montenegro before moving to the United States to play for the Miami Heat.
Some notable achievements in Slavko Vranes’ career include:
- Participating in the FIBA World Championship in 2006 and 2010 with the Montenegro national team.
- Participating in the EuroBasket in 2005 and 2007 with the Serbia and Montenegro national team.
- Playing for professional basketball teams in Europe such as Real Madrid (Spain), Partizan Belgrade (Serbia), Zadar (Croatia), and Rilski Sportist (Bulgaria).
- Winning the Serbian National Championship with Partizan Belgrade in 2012.
- Joining the professional basketball team Xinjiang Flying Tigers in China in 2009, becoming the tallest player to ever compete in China.
However, Slavko Vranes also faced several health and physical challenges throughout his career, preventing him from fully realizing his potential on the court.
3. Manute Bol – 7 feet 7 inches
Manute Bol is a former professional basketball player from Sudan. He played for various teams in the United States and is known for his ideal height for the role of a shot-blocking specialist.
Some notable achievements in Manute Bol’s career include:
- Playing in 10 NBA seasons, representing four different teams: the Washington Bullets, Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers, and Miami Heat.
- Averaging 2.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks per game in a total of 624 games played.
- Achieving the highest average blocks per game in NBA history with 4.96 blocks during the 1985-1986 season while playing for the Washington Bullets.
- Renowned for his defensive prowess and shot-blocking ability. With his towering height, he was often used to disrupt opponents’ plays and help the team defend against attacks.
Furthermore, Bol had a significant international basketball career. He represented the Sudan national team and later the United States national team in tournaments such as the Olympics and World Championships.
4. Paul Sturgess – 7 feet 7 inches
Paul Sturgess is a professional basketball player from England. He is known for his height of 7 feet 7 inches (2.31 meters) and exceptional basketball skills.
Some notable achievements in Paul Sturgess’ career include:
- Participating in the VTB United League and the National Basketball League in the United Kingdom.
- Taking part in the U.S. national amateur basketball tournament, The Basketball Tournament, and helping the team UKnighted reach the semifinals in 2011.
- Joining a training session with the Lingerie Football League’s women’s basketball team in 2013.
- Engaging in acting roles in films and television, including a role in the TV series “Game of Thrones” and the reality TV show “My Giant Life”.
5. Yao Ming – 7 feet 6 inches
Yao Ming is a former professional basketball player from China. He played for the Houston Rockets in the United States for over 8 years and is considered one of the greatest basketball players from China.
Some notable achievements in Yao Ming’s career include:
- Eight-time NBA All-Star selection (2003-2009, 2011).
- Five-time selection to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2004, 2006-2009).
- Two-time NBA Blocks Leader (2004, 2006).
- Olympic gold medalist with the Chinese national team (1998).
- Silver medalist at the FIBA World Cup (2006).
- Position as the Chairman of the Chinese Basketball Association.
Furthermore, Yao Ming is also one of the most influential basketball players in the development of the sport in China and across Asia.
6. Shawn Bradley – 7 feet 6 inches
Shawn Bradley is a former professional basketball player from the United States. He played for various teams in the U.S. and is known for his towering height and shot-blocking abilities.
Some notable achievements in Shawn Bradley’s career include:
- Leading the NBA in blocks per game with an average of 3.43 blocks in his rookie season (1993-1994) with the Utah Jazz.
- Setting a record of 14 blocks in a single game for the Dallas Mavericks against the Los Angeles Lakers in 1997.
- Accumulating a total of 2,119 blocks throughout his career, ranking 13th on the list of players with the most blocks in NBA history.
- Averaging 8.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game throughout his career.
7. Tacko Fall – 7 feet 6 inches
Tacko Fall is a professional basketball player from Senegal. He currently plays for the Boston Celtics in the United States and is considered one of the tallest players today.
Some notable achievements in Tacko Fall’s career include:
- Regarded as a promising young player in the NBA.
- Averaged 2.5 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 0.5 blocks per game in the 2020-2021 season.
- Beloved by fans for his humorous and friendly playing style on and off the court.
8. Olivier Rioux – 7 feet 5 inches
With a towering height of 7 feet 5 inches, Rioux is considered one of the world’s promising basketball talents. From a very young age, Rioux has been praised for his exceptional speed and catching ability. Although he has limited professional playing experience, Rioux’s future in basketball holds great promise.
Some notable achievements in Olivier Rioux’s career include:
- Recognized as the tallest player in Canada at the age of 16, standing at 7 feet 5 inches.
- Represented the Canadian youth basketball team in the 2018 FIBA U16 World Championship.
- Gaining fame as an emerging basketball star, with hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram.
9. Rik Smits – 7 feet 4 inches
Rik Smits is a former professional basketball player from the Netherlands. He played for the Indiana Pacers in the United States and was known for his scoring skills.
Some notable achievements in Rik Smits’ career include:
- Selected to the NBA All-Rookie Team in 1989.
- Five-time NBA All-Star Game participant (1995, 1997-2000).
- Inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018, representing outstanding players in NCAA.
- His NBA career lasted from 1988 to 2000, averaging 14.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. He scored a total of 12,871 points and grabbed 5,277 rebounds throughout his career.
10. Mark Eaton – 7 feet 4 inches
Mark Eaton is a former professional basketball player from the United States. He played for the Utah Jazz and was renowned for his exceptional shot-blocking abilities.
Some notable achievements in Mark Eaton’s career include:
- Selected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team five times (1984-1988).
- Two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1985 and 1989).
- Holds the NBA record for most games with 10 or more blocks (11 times).
- In 1989, he helped the Utah Jazz reach the NBA Conference Finals.
- Averaged 3.5 blocks per game and accumulated a total of 3,064 blocks in 875 career games.
11. Aleksandar Radojevic – 7 feet 4 inches
Aleksandar Radojevic is a former professional basketball player from Montenegro. He played for the Toronto Raptors in the United States and was known for his scoring and shot-blocking abilities.
Some notable achievements in Aleksandar Radojevic’s career include:
- Played in 62 NBA games, averaging 1.8 points and 2.3 rebounds during his five-year tenure in the league.
- Prior to joining the NBA, Radojevic played for teams in Europe and Asia, including FMP Železnik in Serbia and the Liaoning Hunters in China.
- While not having many impressive accomplishments, Radojevic was one of the first Montenegrin players to have the opportunity to play in the NBA, opening doors for young basketball talents from the Balkan region.
12. Pavel Podkolzin – 7 feet 4 inches
Pavel Podkolzin is one of the basketball players with ideal height. He has played for various teams in Russia and the United States and is known for his scoring skills.
Some notable achievements in Pavel Podkolzin’s career include:
- Selected 21st overall by the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the 2004 NBA Draft.
- Called up to the Russian national team to participate in the European Basketball Championship, helping the team win a silver medal in 2007.
13. Sim Bhullar – 7 feet 3 inches
Sim Bhullar has played for several teams in the United States and is considered one of the tallest basketball players today.
Some notable achievements in Sim Bhullar’s career include:
- Nominated to the Big West Conference All-Conference Team in 2014.
- Represented the Indian national basketball team and helped them win a gold medal at the South Asian Basketball Championship in 2016.
- Played for the Reno Bighorns in the NBA Development League and helped the team reach the playoffs in 2016.
- Played for the Guangxi Rhinos in the Chinese Basketball Association and helped the team secure a fourth-place finish in the 2016-2017 season.
- Scored 26 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in a game for the Guangxi Rhinos.
14. Boban Marjanovic – 7 feet 3 inches
With a height of 7 feet 3 inches and exceptional skills, Marjanovic has made significant contributions to the teams he has played for and is regarded as an important player in the Dallas Mavericks’ lineup.
Some notable achievements in Boban Marjanovic’s career include:
- Voted MVP of the VTB United League (an international professional basketball league) in 2016.
- Represented the Serbian national team at the 2016 Rio Olympics, winning a silver medal.
- Joined the NBA in 2015, playing for the San Antonio Spurs, Detroit Pistons, Philadelphia 76ers, and Dallas Mavericks.
- Scored 31 points, grabbed 17 rebounds, and recorded 3 blocked shots when the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2020-2021 NBA season.
As of April 2023, Boban Marjanovic has played a total of 427 games in the NBA, averaging 5.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.
What is the standard height for a basketball player worldwide?
Currently, there is no specific standard height for a basketball player worldwide. However, height is often considered an important factor in achieving success in professional basketball.
Professional male basketball players in the United States typically have an average height ranging from 6 feet 6 inches to 6 feet 9 inches. However, there are still many famous and successful basketball players who have not reached this average height, such as LeBron James (6 feet 8 inches), Kobe Bryant (6 feet 6 inches), and Shaquille O’Neal (7 feet 1 inch).
It is important to note that height alone is not the only determining factor for professional basketball players. They also need speed, skills, strength, and basketball IQ to achieve success in their careers.
From our article on the “Top 10+ Tallest Basketball Players in the World,” it can be seen that possessing an ideal height is a significant advantage in basketball. The players on this list have left a profound impact on the history of world basketball with their outstanding achievements. Let’s look forward to the future development of basketball with new faces.
Hi everyone, I’m Tony Scotti, an expert in the field of height increase with many years of experience researching and applying height increase methods, and have achieved promising results. I have created increase height blog as a personal blog to share knowledge and experience about what I have learned during the process of improving my own height.