20 Tallest Basketball Players of All Time (With Height Details)

Tall basketball players have an upper edge when it comes to delivering an accurate shot. Therefore, little force is applied when pushing the basketball into the net and helps the players dominate the floor more.

Here is a comprehensive analysis of the 20 tallest basketball players the world has ever had.

Tallest Basketball Players

1. Suleiman Ali Nashnush 8’0.5”

In medical history, he is among the seventeen individuals who were either eight feet or surpassed that mark. Suleiman lived from 1943 to 1991. He hailed from Libya and played basketball for the national team in 1962. At that height, he was the tallest basketball player of that time and is till now.

He also played the role of an actor in the film Fellini Satyricon. He breathed his last on 25 Feb 1991.

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2. Alexander Sizonenko 7’10”

He was born on 27 July 1959 in the city of Zaporizhia. From (1976-1978) he played professional basketball for Spartak Leningrad and from (1979-1986) for Stoitel Kuybyshev. Furthermore, he also played 12 games for the national team of Soviet.

In 1991, at 2.39m or 7 feet 10 inches, he broke the Guinness World Records as the tallest man in that year. Sizonenko died on 5th January 2012.

3. Sun Mingming 7’9”

He plays basketball for Chinese clubs. The professional games he played include the Hamamatsu Phoenix (2008-2009), and Beijing Ducks (2009-2014). He was born on august 1983, weighs 168kgs (370 lbs.)

With a height of 7 feet 9 inches, he holds the current title of the world tallest basket player.Apart from basketball, he occasionally plays as an actor.

4. Ri Myung Hun 7’8.5”

Hun was born on 14th September 1967. He is majorly known as Michael Ri, a name acquired after Michael Jordan his favoritebasketball player from North Korea.At 2.35m, he was once ranked as one of the tallest basketball players in the world.

In the earlier 90s, he was the center player for Korea’s national basketball team.

5. Yasutaka Okayama 7’8”

He was born on29th Nov 1954 in the city of Kumamoto prefecture in Japan. In the archives of the National Basketball Association, he was the first tallest player as per the 1981 draft though he ended up not signing up with them.

After graduating from the University of Portland, though he never participated in their team, he went to play for Sumitomo Metal Industries basketball club. From 1979 to 1986 he played for the national basketball team of Japan. He then retired from active sports in 1996.

6. NeilFingleton 7’7.56”

Neil Fingleton is ranked among the 25 tallest men in the world as per the 2007 Guinness world records.  At 232.6cm in height, he is the first tallest man of British origin. As a start, he played one game with the University of North Carolina and then moved to holy cross college in 2002.

He began playing professional basketball in 2004. He played for the Boston Frenzy from 2004 to 2005, from 6thDec 2005 he played for CB Illescas a Spanish team and finally with Ciudad Real. In 2007, he had an injury that forced him into early retirement.

7. Paul Sturgess 7’7.26”

He was the tallest college basketball player in the United States. He is also one of the world’s tallest professional basketball players. He has an outstanding height of 7 feet 7.26 inches or 2.318m, and 325lb (147 kg)

Paul was drafted into the Harlem Globetrotters team in 2011. He remains the tallest player this team has ever had.

8. Gheorghe Muresan 7’7”

Gheorge was born in Cluj County in Romania. He enhanced his basketball skills at Cluj University. He then joined the French league under Pau- Orthez from 1992 to 1993. From there, he was absorbed by Washington Bullets in an NBA draft in the year 1993.

He was at his best in the 1994 -1995 season where he maintained a minimum of 14.5 points for every game. In the history of the NBA, he ranked among the tallest players. He is currently retired.

9. ManuteBol 7’7”

This basketball player lived from 16th October 1962 to 19thJune 2010 and was born in the country now called South Sudan. Alongside Gheorghe Muresan, they are the tallest in NBA history. He was ranked among the best shot blockers in the various games he played. As per the career blocks list, he ranked 15 and in the NBA’s history, he is the second.

10. Shawn Bradley 7’6”

Shawn Bradley is a basket player who was born on 22ndMarch 1972 in West Germany in a place called Landstuhl. He has dual citizenship of German and America. The teams he has played for include; the New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76rs and finally the Dallas Mavericks under the NBA. He played center with all these teams.

At 2.29m the NBA lists him among the top tallest players in its history.

11. Yao Ming 7’6”

This retired Chinese professional basketballer was born on 12th September 1980. He began off his career at Shanghai Sharks when he was a teenager. Yao then graduated into their senior team and lasted there five years winning a championship in the final year.

In 2002, he joined the Houston Rockets under the National Basketball Association. He was picked for the NBA All-Star Western conference eight times. He helped the rockets win the first-round series during the postseason games of 2009.

12. Chuck Nevitt 7’5” 

His real names are Charles Goodrich Nevitt and he was born on 13thJune 1959. At 2.26m, he was basically known because of his great height. He was among the tallest players throughout his nine-year tenure from 1983 to 1993 as an NBA player.

The teams he played for included; Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, and Chicago bulls among many others. Though now retired, his favorite jersey was number 52.

13. SlavkoVanes 7’5”

Slavko is a professional Montenegrin Basketball player (born 30thJan 1983). With a height of 7 feet 5 inches, he is ranked among the world’s tallest players. He played for various clubs from 2000 to 2003 when still a minor.

Come the 2003 summer, he was picked by New York Knicks which operates under the NBA. The other teams he played for from 2004 to 2013 are not limited to Red Star Belgrade, Partizan Belgrade, Sanaye Petroshimi BC, and Zob Ahan Isfahan.

14. Pavel Podkolzin 7’5”

He is a professional basketball player from Russia who plays for the University Yugra Surgut. He is 2.26m tall or 7 feet 5 inches, plays the center position and was born on 15thJan 1985.

On top of that, he has played both in the NBA league and many other Teams under the NBA.Just to name a few, Pavel played with Lokomotiv Novosibirsk and Metis Varese in Italy.

15. Mark Eaton 7’4”

Mark was selected to the NBA-All Star in 1989. He got two awards under the NBA defensive player of the year category in the years 1985 and 1989. His great height enhanced his defensive capabilities and made him the best central defender in NBA history. He also holds the most blocks per season record of the NBA.

16. Ralph Sampson 7’4”

Ralph is an Americanbasketball player who won the college player of the year award three times. Also, in the 1983 NBA draft, he got the first pick. He averaged 10.9 rebounds and 20.7 points during the first three seasons that he played with Houston Rockets. He had to retire early after undergoing three knee surgeries.

17. Priest Lauderdale 7’4’’

This retired professional basketball player was born on 31st August 1973. At 7 feet 4 inches, he was picked by the NBA’s 1996 draft as the 28th best overall and was signed into Atlanta Hawks. He has also played in various teams in Venezuela, China, Spain, and many more others.

18. Boban Marjanović 7’3.5”

Boban is a basketball player from Serbia who was born on 15th august 1988. He is an NBA player for the 76ers. He also partakes in international competitions of the Serbian Basketball National Team. With a 2.21m height, he usually takes the center position. Besides basketball, he acted for the John Wick movie.

19. Peter John Ramos 7’3.5”

Ramos is a professional basketball player from Puerto Rico. He is the third Puerto Rican selected into the NBA. He has played in various leagues like the d-League and all-NBA Development league from 2006-2007. Ramos was working with the Puerto Rican National Basketball team in 2004 when it defeated the United States in the Olympic Games.

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20. Kristaps Porzingis 7’3”

He started out as a young teenager with small youth teams and represented them in the Nike International Junior Talents. He soon rose to the senior squad rank and was later inducted into the Dallas Mavericks which is NBA approved. He is privileged to play both the center and power forward positions.

Bottom line

There are many more tall basketball players who are not mentioned herein. It can be concluded that the height alone can’t make a player successful. This can be observed as per the different achievements each player has made over the years despite how tall they were.

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