World's Tallest in Sports

Measuring Height is one of the standard fitness tests in sports. Being tall is advantageous for many sports, such as basketball, volleyball and rowing. Here are some examples of extremely tall sports people from a range of sports. See also a discussion and examples of the World's tallest and shortest people. This information about the tallest sports people of the world may change, as the current crop of players change and people grow.


The current (2016) world's tallest man Sultan Kösen (251cm centimetres / 8 ft 3 in) once played basketball, but not at a professional level. 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. He plays for the Maryland Nighthawks. The tallest player in National Basketball Association (NBA) history is Manute Bol, a Sudanese who measured 7 feet 7 inches (231 cm) tall, and played for the Washington Bullets. Of equal height was Romanian player Gheorghe Mureşan who also played in the NBA.

Height Height Name Notes
231 cm 7 ft 7 in Gheorghe Mureşan Retired Romanian professional basketball player. Tied as tallest player in NBA history. b.1971
245 cm 8 ft ½ in Suleiman Ali Nashnush Libyan who was possibly the tallest basketball player. (b.1943 d.1991)
231 cm 7 ft 7 in Manute Bol Retired Sudanese professional basketball player. Tied as tallest player in NBA history. 1962–2010
229 cm 7 ft 6 in Yao Ming From China. Tallest current NBA player. b.1980

See more about body size in basketball.

All Sports

Here are some of the tallest athetes from a large range of sports. Basketball and volleyball players are one of the tallest in sport. Out of all the athletes at the 2012 Olympic Games, the tallest was 2.21m Chinese basketball player Zhaoxu Zhang. Basketball was the sport with the greatest average height (192.1cm average), the next was volleyball.

Sport Height Height Name Notes
AFL 211 cm Aaron Sandilands Equal tallest player in the history of Australian Football League. b.1982
AFL 211 cm Peter Street Equal tallest player in the history of AFL/VFL. b.1980
American Football 213 cm 7 ft 0 in Richard Sligh Tallest American Football player in NFL history. 1944–2008
Baseball 218 cm 7 ft 2 in Loek van Mil Tallest baseball player. b.1984
Baseball 211 cm 6 ft 11 in Jon Rauch Tallest Baseball player in Major League Baseball. b.1978
Boxing 213 cm 7 ft 0 in Nikolai Valuev Tallest title holder in Heavyweight Boxing. b.1973
Cricket 216 cm 7 ft 1 in Mohammad Irfan Tallest international cricketer in the world. b.1982
Cricket 208 cm 6 ft 10 in Will Jefferson Tallest First Class Cricket player. b.1979
Golf 197 cm 6 ft 5.5 in George Archer Tallest golfer on the PGA Tour. 1939–2005
Ice Hockey 206 cm 6 ft 9 in Zdeno Chára Tallest player in National Hockey League history. b.1977
Kickboxing 218 cm 7 ft 2 in Choi Hong-man Tallest Kickboxer and Mixed Martial Artist. b.1980
Rugby Union 213 cm 7 ft 0 in Richard Metcalfe Tallest Rugby union player in history. b.1973
Soccer 208 cm 6 ft 10 in Kristof Van Hout From Belgium. Tallest Association Football player. Plays as goalkeeper. b.1987
Soccer 201 cm 6 ft 7 in Peter Crouch Tallest English footballer. b.1981
Swimming 209 cm 6 ft 10 1⁄2 in Rolandas Gimbutis a swimmer from Lithuania. He participated in the 2000, 2004, and 2008 Summer Olympics. National records holder. born 11 February 1981 in Vilnius, Lithuania. Weight 112 kg (247 lb)
Tennis 208 cm 6 ft 10 in Ivo Karlović Tallest Tennis player on the ATP Tour. b.1979
Track & Field 201 cm 6 ft 7 in Ingo Schultz Tallest sprinter. b. 1975
Volleyball 218 cm 7 ft 2 in Aleksey Kazakov Russian volleyball player. b.1976
Weightlifting 201 cm 6 ft 7 in Velichko Cholakov Tallest Olympic weightlifter. b.1982

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