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. Obviously, this information about the tallest sports people of the world may change, as the current crop of players change and people grow.



Olympic Athletes

Many of the tall sports people competing at the Olympic Games come from the sports of basketball and volleyball. Out of all the athletes at the 2012 Olympic Games, the tallest was 2.21m Chinese basketball player Zhaoxu Zhang, and at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the tallest athlete stood at 2.18m (7' 2"), another Chinese basketball player, Muhao Li. At the Olympics, basketball is the sport with the greatest average height, the next is volleyball, then rowing.

Tall Athletes Play Basketball

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 played in several American minor league teams, including 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, who played in the NBA from 1985-1995. Of equal height was Romanian player Gheorghe Mureşan who also played in the NBA from 1993-2000. Japanese basketball player Yasutaka Okayama (7'8" / 2.34m) was picked up in the 1981 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors, however, he never played in the NBA. (see NBA player size over time)

Poland's Margo Dydek is 7 ft 2 in (2.18 m) tall, was the tallest professional female basketball player in the world. She played center for Connecticut Sun in the WNBA.

Height Height Name Notes
245 cm 8 ft ½ in Suleiman Ali Nashnush Libyan who was possibly the tallest basketball player. (b.1943 d.1991)
236 cm 7 ft 9 in Sun Ming Ming Player from Bayan in China. The tallest professional basketball player in the world
231 cm 7 ft 7 in Gheorghe Mureşan Retired Romanian professional basketball player. Tied as tallest player in NBA history. b.1971
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. recent NBA player, retired 2011. b.1980
221 cm 7 ft 3 in Boban Marjanović Currently (2019) tallest active NBA player

See more about body size in basketball.

tall chinese basketballervery tall Chinese basketballer Yao Ming

All Sports

Here are some of the tallest athetes from a large range of sports.

Sport Height Height Name Notes
Australian Football 211 cm 6 ft 11 in Mason Cox, Aaron Sandilands, Peter Street Equal tallest players in the history of Australian Football League.
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, from the Netherlands
Baseball (MLB) 211 cm 6 ft 11 in Jon Rauch Tallest Baseball player in Major League Baseball. b.1978
Basketball 236 cm 7 ft 9 in Sun Ming Ming Player from Bayan in China. The tallest professional basketball player in the world
Basketball (NBA) 231 cm 7 ft 7 in Gheorghe Mureşan and Manute Bol Tied as tallest players in NBA history.
Boxing 242 cm 7 ft 11 in Gogea Mitu Romanian boxer
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
Wrestling 251 cm 8 ft 3 in Edouard Beaupré "Willow Bunch Giant" Canadian Professional Wrestler


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