Body size is the most important physical attribute for sucess in basketball. Tall players usually come with large hands and a long reach too. Players in the NBA have generally been getting taller.
One of the tallest players in the history of professional basketball is Sun Ming Ming, from Bayan in China. He stands 236 cm (7 ft 9 in) tall. In the NBA, Sudanese player Manute Bol, stood at 7 ft 7 in (231 cm) tall, and played for three NBA teams from 1985 to 1995. Of equal height was Romanian player Gheorghe Mureşan who also played in the NBA from 1993-2000.
Anthropometry and Olympic Athletes
London 2012 Olympic Games
Here is some information from the analysis of the anthropometric data (height, weight and age) from the basketball participants at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Basketballers were the tallest on average of all Olympic Games athletes. The tallest male athlete of all Olympic athletes stood at 2.21m, the Chinese basketball player Zhaoxu Zhang.
|Sport||Age||Height (cm)||Weight (kg)||BMI|
|OVERALL AVERAGE (all sports)||26.1||176.9||72.8||23.3|
Rio 2016 Olympic Games
Here is average data from the analysis of the anthropometric data of the basketball players at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
|Age (years)||height (m)||weight (kg)||BMI|
|AVERAGE (all sports)||26.8||1.77||72.0||22.9|
|all basketball players||28.1||1.92||87.8||23.6|
The Growth of Shaquille O'Neal
One of the most famous 'big' basketball players is Shaquille O'Neal, the 'Shaq'. Here is a list of his growth development from age 4.
|4||3'10 1/2"||118.1||56||25.4||Size 12|
||4'3 1/2"||130.8||82||37.2||Size 2|
|8||4'8 3/4"||144.1||108||50.0||Size 4|
|10||5'3 1/4"||160.7||139||63.0||Size 7 1/2|
|12||5'10"||177.8||192||87.1||Size 10 1/2|
- Muggsy Bogues is the shortest person to play in the NBA, and played for a 14 year period. He was only 5 foot 3 inches (160 cm) tall. Another short NBA player was Earl Boykins who was 5 feet, 5 inches (1.65m) in height, he is the second shortest player in NBA history.
- Fitness Testing for basketball
- Body size changes in NBA players
- Height records, including the tallest and shortest in sports.
- Olympic Games Anthropometry for other sports in 2012.
- All about fitness testing, including anthropometry testing
- More on measuring body size from the fitness testing section.
- Sports Nutrition for Basketball