Does Basketball Make You Taller?

You might have heard the question before “does basketball make you taller?” or “Can I become a taller guy by playing basketball?”. Some did go one step further and asked “does playing basketball increase height after 20?”

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Let me start with an example. Manute Bole from Sudan is 7’6’’. He is terribly called something like short guy in his own place. Then there is Muggsy Bogues who played in the NBA with a height of 5’3’’


There are so many people out here who truly believe height and basketball have some connection in between. There are couple of scientific theories that they want to show to prove their claiming

1. They claim that continuous jumping with basketball means electric flow of body current to brain increases. As a result, growth hormones are stimulated which leads to increasing the height

There are growth palates in our spine and legs. So, when you are landing on the ground after throwing your body in the air, blood flow to these growth palates is increases greatly. So, height is increased too


2. People also believe if HGH hormone level is greatly found in our body, there is a possibility of height increasing. And by playing basketball, HGH level is affected too

Whether that is true or not, we will come back to you later

Also a section of people is visible who think height gene can be stimulated by continuous training sessions

Aren’t all of these sounding like asking someone whether owning a private jet will make him rich or not?


Let me make you couple of things clear:

aThese NBA guys are surely not tall because they just play basketball. You can’t grow taller by playing basketball

Lamarck’s theory is not gonna work here

If that was the case, all short height guys in the world would have started to play basketball leaving everything else. Your genetic structure shall decide your height and shape that you are gonna be in, not basketball!


b. How can you say this to yourself that you shall be able to grow in stature by just practicing shooting on the hoops? It is scientifically proved that genetic factors determine 60-80% height differences between individuals. The remaining percentage goes to the environment, nutrition etc


c. Well, the basketball game is open for all. Anyone can take part in this beautiful game. You do not require to be that tall in height to participate on this

And yeah you watch NBA sports in TV or live, you shall find mostly tall lanky guys on the court. Because tall people are really made to play on basketball court. They bring the X factor to the team’s cause

They can get to shoot at anytime anyplace. When it comes to dunk, rebound and defense this is where they are bringing their height advantage come into play incredibly well. So, chance of those tall guys becoming NBA superstars in future is really high

On the contrary, short basketball players find a bit tough out there to pass through all the barriers and are less seen as professionals than tall people

But that does not mean shorter guys can’t get success on this profession. There are so many examples before your eyes

A lot of tall people are not good at basketball. Numbers of small size players have come handy too. Being tall is just an extra advantage while playing basketball, nothing more than this


d. Small short player must have unique talents like shooting, passing the ball to your mates or solid defense. whether you are short or tall, the way of playing and style must work to your advantage. for example: Kelly Olynyk and Isaiah Thomas. They are 7 feet and 6’6’’ respectively


e. People argue a lot saying the exercise increases your height. But there is no evidence. Yeah exercise stimulates growth hormones but in turn it hardly affects in the exercised areas of your body

Even there is a study done over 2 group of people. One group has done only bicep curls and other one leg extensions followed by bicep curls. Though the leg extension group has twice the amount of growth hormones but does not have the better success

We are saying, it just won’t make you grow taller. But that does not mean you should give up doing exercise. Your genes and proper maintaining of nutrition level shall determine your height


What can be improved by playing basketball except the height?

1.Jump: play basketball regularly and improve your ability to jump

2.Speed ability: up and doing with the running shall make you do the attack and go into the defense in a very short time

3.Rebound: chances of getting possession will be increased

4.Hand eye co-ordination: running with a ball, quick pass is an integral part of playing basketball


At last what I can say, this is unlikely that NBA players are tall because they play the basketball. Infact, it should be the other way around that, they are playing basketball because they are tall

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  • Updated July 13, 2020
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