Why Basketball Players Are Tall

By Alex Mercer

November 7, 2021

While looking at the basketball hoop, it’s only normal to wonder how basketball players even reach there. Basketball players’ height, which may appear to be sky-high, is normal. Thanks to their exceptionally tall figures, they can easily touch the hoop or throw the ball inside with just one jump. But why are all basketball players tall? Let’s find out.

In basketball, a player’s height is an additional advantage in deciding the victory. Generally, the taller the players are, the better their performance will be. Basketball players grow tall for different reasons, such as genes, exercise, medical supplements, etc. Although tall people are recommended for basketball mostly, short players can also make their way into the game by practicing skills and perfection.

The average height of most NBA players is around six-and-a-half feet, which is more than the height of most Americans. So, it’s no wonder that tall players are selected for basketball.

Relation Between Basketball And Height

For all the different skills in the basketball game, height is a crucial issue. Usually, the taller a player is, the easier it is to run the ball through the hoop. He can score and perform additional strategies and tricks that give his team the upper hand in the game.

What then makes height so crucial in basketball? It’s how the game is designed. The players need to have a certain height to be successful when attempting to score through the hoop. There are also sets of skills in basketball that are not designed for short players but rather for tall players.

Let’s see a few basketball skills and how height is essential to execute them.


Shooting is the skill of scoring points in basketball. Usually, there are two ways a player can score in a game.

The tall players would have an additional advantage over the short players because they have a higher chance of scoring a point for both of these skills.

Lay Up

A Lay-Up is a scoring technique in basketball when a player attempts a shot from any side of the basketball hoop or a short-range shot. Many players also use the backboard to make the ball hit there and go directly into the basket for a sure score.

Usually, the taller a player is, the closer he can jump to the hoop, the more he can score. Besides, having the height will also allow the player to shoot from the right angle.

3-Pointer Shoot

The 3-pointer shoot has been in style in basketball since the 1980s and has only been more popular gradually. Surprisingly, not only does the audience love seeing players do 3-pointers, but the players themselves love doing them!

A 3-pointer shoot is when a basketball player shoots from outside the 3-pointer arc of the basketball court. It is a long-range basketball shoot. Taller players can perform well because they usually can gauge what distance would be best to score with the right amount of practice.

Slam Dunk

A slam dunk shot happens when a player leaps with the ball and directly puts it through the hoop. It is a no-brainer to ask why height is necessary to score this.

The player directly jumps up with the ball and holds the rim to make sure he’s scoring. So, the taller he is, the easier he can score a slam dunk.

Contextually speaking, the average height of an NBA player is six feet nine inches tall, while the average basketball rim height is 10 feet. So, the tall players can get closer to the rim than shorter players.


Most of the tall players in basketball have the responsibility to defend their team from the opposition’s attempts. Tall players can easily dodge the opponent’s shots and take advantage of the rebound.

The shortest player in NBA history defense was 6ft, which is relatively tall for an average American man. Most defense players are seven feet or more. The additional height means they can defend the rim with their long arms and jumps, which gives the opponent lesser chances to score.


Rebounding happens when, after an unsuccessful scoring attempt, two players fight to get hold of the ball as it comes down. Usually, the taller a player is, the faster he can snatch the ball from the opponent.

So, taller players do a better job against other tall players when performing rebounding in basketball. Therefore, height is essential in this skill.

Why Are Basketball Players So Tall?

The height of these basketball players is anything but typical. With a height of 7 feet, they are some of the tallest people ever to exist. In regards to why they are tall, it depends on many criteria.

Some of them are genetically tall; some have grown taller over the years with exercise. But one thing’s certain: basketball players are taller on average than most people.

Family Genes

Some basketball players are genetically tall. They have parents who are above the average human height, so they grow tall too.

It is fascinating to see how genes play a role in determining their height. For example, many current NBA players are the children of previous players of the sport. Those players were tall, so their children also grew more elevated than most people.

Physically Proactive

Children who have been physically proactive since their childhood tend to grow taller than children who have not. Participating in sports or other physically exhausting competitions makes their muscles and growth hormones more active.

Therefore, they grow taller than their peers. Usually, if a child is tall during childhood, he ends up with an above-average height when he grows up as well.


Physical exercises are essential contributions to the height of a basketball player. Usually, exercises like swimming, fencing, jump-roping, etc., help.

However, professional players also rely heavily on professional training sessions to stretch out their bodies.

Usually, these exercises do not bring a direct or significant change to the player’s height. However, they do help keep players more active and energetic, which allows their performance.

Medical Supplements For Height

Often, people who are passionate about a basketball career start taking growth supplements at a young age. They are usually not harmful and help players reach their desired height.

Growth supplements are similar to any other supplementary medicine. They accelerate the growth hormone. As a result, players grow taller.

However, this is not recommended for ordinary people unless prescribed by a doctor.

Short Players Vs Tall Players in Basketball

Although basketball is a game for tall players, shorter players can also play well with the right skills and practice.

However, they need to find their comfort ground and work on the skills one by one until they’re at par with their taller opponents.

Short players can play basketball as well as tall ones. There are some areas where fast players have the upper hand against tall players. Specific skills are easier to perform for them than they are for taller players.

For example, short players can guard the ball on the court. Guarding means dribbling the ball to himself so that the opposition cannot take it away. Shorter players are closer to the ground, so when they dribble, the ball is easier for them to control.

Not only guarding, but they are also faster and can move swiftly along the court because of their lightweight.

Tall players often struggle running faster than shorter players; therefore, this is an area where shorter players can take advantage of their height.

Although short players might need a bit more practice to get hold of the strategies, with the right skills and practice, even short players can excel in basketball.


If why basketball players are so tall seems like a mystery to you; I hope this article helped to decode it. The secret behind their height is either their genes or exercise and supplements.

Because of their above-average size, it might seem a little strange to see these giant men around ordinary people. However, watching them run around the court with the ball is a treat to the eyes!

About the author

Hey There! My Name is Alex and I run Get Hyped Sports. I created this platform to help people find their love for sports and gaming.

Our work has been featured on platforms like Mashable.com, SVG.com, and XXL.com.

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