Michael Jordan – 6’6″
When being hugely successful in the Olympics is one of the least famous things you’ll ever do, you know you’ve got the perfect career as a legendary athlete under your belt. So much has been said about Michael Jordan that at this point, it’s almost not worth going into.
He’s been in a number of commercials since retiring from the NBA and is an avid golfer, but at this point we’re just going to take the opportunity to casually remind you that he was also in Space Jam.
LeBron James – 6’9″
Yes, we’re aware that LeBron James is ~not~ the tallest NBA player, but the man is still 6’8. We’d say that’s tall enough! James is regarded as one of the greatest basketball players to ever set foot on the court. Trust us, he’s got the accolades to prove it.
James has been playing basketball since the fifth grade, and obviously all this training turned out to be a great investment as the guy is often compared to Michael Jordan and holds three Olympic medals as well as two FIBA titles.
Emanuel Yarbrough – 6’8″, 600 lbs
Emanuel Yarbrough was nicknamed "Little" or "Tiny" and it was obviously ironic as we are talking about a man who was heavier than a family-sized fridge. Keep in mind that this wasn't even his peak weight – at his heaviest, this man reached the weight of 882 lbs! This man is a Guinness World Record holder for the world's heaviest athlete.
Before turning to sumo wrestling, Yarbrough played football and wrestled in college. He started his sumo training in 1992, became world famous, and passed away in 2015.
Tarrell Brown – 6’10″, 190 lbs
Tarrell Brown's football career started when he was a high school student in North Mesquite High School in Texas. His familiar path of college football which should be leading to an NFL draft had to take a little detour due to run-ins with the law.
He was finally drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 2007, with whom he played for 6 years. He only got to play for the New England Patriots for two months before suffering a foot injury forcing him to retire.
T.J. Barnes – 6’7″, 364 lbs
Born in Alabama in 1990, T.J. Barnes started playing football in high school and he was instantly marked as a great prospect. Things kept going well for him in college as well.
Barnes's first professional team was the Jacksonville Jaguars. He played with them for four months in 2013 and then transferred to the New York Jets. After switching teams for several years, in 2020 he signed with the New York Guardians.
Bryant McKinnie – 6’8″, 352 lbs
Bryant McKinnie started playing football in high school and he was easily noticed thanks to his talent and enormous size. After a substantial college career, McKinnie was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in 2002.
McKinnie has also played for the Baltimore Ravens and the Miami Dolphins before retiring in 2013. He is now involved in philanthropy, fitness and music.
Phil Loadholt – 6’8″, 343 lbs
Honolulu born Phil Loadholt has played football since high school in Colorado. He was even named Colorado Springs Area Player of the year in his senior year, which was a good sign he had a bright football future ahead.
Loadholt played for the Minnesota Vikings from 2009 to 2015. In 2015, he tore his Chilles Tendon, which led to his 2016 retirement.
King Dunlap – 6’9″, 330 lbs
Having King as your first names is a serious commitment. Luckily for King Dunlap, it looks like he's up for the challenge. Dunlap was born into a very athletic family. His father was an NFL player, his mother was a track runner, and his sister is a basketball player.
In high school, Dunlap played both football and basketball, but ultimately he chose to focus on football in college. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2008, and most recently played for the San Diego Chargers.
Roy Hibbert – 7’2″, 280 lbs
7’2 Roy Hibbert wasn’t called Mr. Verticality because he was tall and could jump high. No, he was a key rim protector that the NBA hasn’t seen in years.
Hibbert retired as a player in 2017 after a few months with the Denver Nuggets only to come back as a coach in 2019. He currently coaches the Philadelphia 76ers.
Leonard Davis – 6’6″, 355 lbs
In high school, Leonard Davis was one if the top athletes in his class as a member of the football team and the basketball team. In college he chose to focus on football, and it's great that he did, because otherwise, how would he have played in 12 NFL seasons?
Other than football, Davis is also passionate about music. He is the bassist of Free Reign, a heavy metal band he formed with his frormer teammates Cory Ptocter and Marc Colombo.
Michael Jasper – 6’4″, 375 lbs
Michael Jasper is big even in football player standards. But at 375 lbs, he has seen even heavier times. At his heaviest, Jasper weighed 450 pounds. That was during his college career but when he was drafted by the Buffalo Bills, he worked hard on losing weight with his coach.
As a player, Jasper could never stick with one team for two long, which resulted in him playing for five teams in four years. In 2016, after a few years off the field, Jasper came back to football, this time as a coach. He currently coaches the football team of his alma mater at Bethel University.
Hasheem Thabeet – 7’3″ 263 lbs
Born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 1987, Hasheem Thabeet has been playing basketball since he was 15 years old playing pickup games on his homeland. He began showing professional interest only in college when he joined the Connecticut Huskies.
The 7 ‘3" Tanzanian basketball player Hasheem Thabeet was drafted in 2009 by the Memphis Grizzlies. The 33 year old recently came back to the NBA after a year with the Yokohama B-Corsairs in the Japanese B. League.
Andrew Bynum – 7’,285 lbs
New Jersey born Bynum played for the Los Angeles Lakers for most of his career, which lasted a little less than a decade. He was first drafted by them in 2005 when he was just 18 years old, which made him the youngest NBA player ever.
Bynum most recently played for the Indiana Pacers but he only had the chance to play two games with them. In 2014 he had to retire due to knee problems.
Kellen Heard – 6’6″ 339 lbs
Kellen Heard as born in 1985 in Texas and started his football career as a college student at Texas A&M. He didn't graduate there, however, as he moved to play at the University of Texas in his last year there.
It seems, however, that despite his incredible Heard's career hasn't been stable as he signed with four different teams and quit or was waived off them all in the span of four years.
Marc Gasol – 7’1″, 265 lbs
Marc Gasol is the younger brother of Pau Gasol, who is also featured on this list. Marc is the taller of the two, although by just a smidge. He currently plays for the Toronto Raptors, who probably enjoy every inch of his 7'1".
Gasol is highly decorated in his field. The title NBA Defensive Player of the Year and his two Olympic silver medals (one from 2008 Beijing and one from 2012 London) are just a few of his great achievements.
Marcus Cannon – 6’5″, 335 lbs
Push weight loss plans out of your mind because we’re here to talk about 6’6, 335 lbs NFL lineman Marcus Cannon. Cannon has been with the NFL for seven years and is with the New England Patriots. We’re sure he was devastated over the result of Super Bowl 2018.
On top of Cannon's football career, he also has a degree in communications from TCU. In 2011, he was diagnosed with cancer, but he has been treated for it and it is in constant remission. Must be a great inspiration ti his wife and three kids.
Shaun Rogers – 6’4″, 350 lbs
When you're built like a rhino, your future as a football player is pretty much set in stone, and Rogers is no different. His football career starts in high school and stretches all the way to 2013.
As a 6’4 and some 350 lbs player, you’re a mean machine of muscle on the field. And as far as defensive tackles go, he was a monster in his prime on the field.
Al Jefferson – 6’10″, 280 lbs
Al Jefferson's nickname is NBA Big Man, which makes you think considering he plays a sport involving some of the tallest people on earth.
Jefferson retired from his 14 year long NBA career in 2019 and promptly signed on as a player in the BIG3, where he currently plays.
Glen Davis – 6’9″, 289 lbs
Glen Davis is nicknamed Big Baby. We're not too sure about the baby part but we definitely see why anyone would call him big. At 15 years old, Davis met Shaquille O'Neal at basketball camp. The two played a friendly game during which Davis boy slammed Shaq to the ground. O'Neal was obviously impressed.
In 2006, he was named Player of the Year by SEC, and the following year officially joined the NBA. Davis most recently played for St. John's Edge.
Kobe Bryant – 6’6″
Kobe Bryant first joined the Los Angeles Lakers as a fresh faced 18-year-old straight out of high school and didn’t leave until he was 37. In that time, Kobe piled up an MVP award, 18 All-Star selections and five NBA championships. He was such a legend, the Lakers even retired both of his jersey numbers.
Although Kobe only hung up his jersey for good at the end of the 2015-16 NBA season, it feels much longer with how much he’s accomplished since. The Black Mamba has maintained his intense “mamba mentality” in various business endeavors before dying in a tragic helicopter crash in early 2020.
Dwight Howard – 6’11″, 265 lbs
Formerly known as the Rocket's center, Dwight Howard has seen a lot on the basketball court. However, since he is 6’11″ tall, it would take some time to see it because looking up at his face means serious neck pain.
Howard currently plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. When he's not playing, he enjoys gardening and spending time with his 20 snakes, much like any other normal person does.
Paul Soliai – 6’4″, 345 lbs
Paul Soliai has the ideal body for a professional football player, and his potential as a pro was evident since his high school years. This Samoan tank of a man is 6’4″ tall and 345 lbs heavy, which would make any opposing player think twice before trying to tackle him.
Soliai's latest game was played for the Carolina Panthers in 2017. But technically speaking, he officially retired in 2018 after signing a one day contract with the Miami Dolphins so he could retire as a true Dolphin.
Pau Gasol – 7’, 245 lbs
We’re betting that Pau Gasol will make history when he’s finally entered into the Hall of Fame. It’s as sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. The 7′ six-time NBA All-Star is a beast on the court.
As the son of two healthcare workers (a doctor and a nurse administrator), Gasol was first interested in pursuing a medical career, and he is still interested in medicine. His other interests include music and foreign languages. We thought that kind if people stopped existing after the Renaissance, but we're happy to see they aren't extinct.
Kevin Garnett – 6'11 , 240 lbs
21 seasons in the NBA are not something people can usually take. Kevin Garnett, however, is anything but usual. Towering the height of 6’11″, Garnett's career is over two decades long, which shouldn't be taken lightly.
Garnett quit basketball in 2016. Since then, he has been serving as a consultant for the Los Angeles Clippers and performing on TV among other things.
CC Sabathia – 6’7″, 290 lbs
As far as extraordinary left-handed pitchers go, CC Sabathia takes the cake. And then there’s the fact that he’s 6’7 and 290lbs, so yeah he’s also one of the largest MLB athletes.
Sabathia's baseball career started as a high school student. He was courted by many colleges who wanted him to play for their teams. He was first drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 1998 and his latest team was the New York Yankees.
John Scott – 6’8″, 270 lbs
John Scott's size is only one of the things that helped him in his his career as a professional hockey player. Those who are interested on knowing the other factors are welcome to read his autobiography, A Guy Like Me: Fighting to Make the Cut.
Scott is not all muscle. His brain is no less of an asset than his physique and he has the mechanical engineering degree to prove it.
Adam Dunn – 6’8″, 285 lbs
Home run or strikeout, those are the only two end results Adam Dunn brought to the mound. At 6’8 and about 290lbs, Dunn was intimidating with a bat in his hands.
Film fans would love to know that Dunn is a film fan himself, and has even invested in the movie Dallas Buyers Club. Other than that, Dunn is a family man with four children.
Jonathan Broxton – 6’4″, 300 lbs
Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Jonathan Broxton may have just been the largest athlete in the clubhouse. 300lbs and a height of 6’4, Broxton was a beast when he was still active. Maybe he had the same trainer as Bartolo Colon.
His fastest fastball on record had the speed of 102 mph. That was recorded in 2009, the same year as when he and his wife, Elizabeth had their first child.
Joe Finley – 6’8″, 260 lbs
As far as weight loss plans are concerned, Joe Finley didn’t care. He was all muscle and ferocity. At 6’8 and 250lbs, Finley was a hawk on the ice and he wasn’t someone you wanted to see on the other end of a puck.
Most recently, Finley played for Helsinki's HIFK, but he had several teams to call home over the years, such as South Carolina Stingrays, the Hamilton Bulldogs and the Buffalo Sabers.
Nate Freiman – 6’8″, 250 lbs
Now here’s a batter no one wanted to be up against. Nate Feiman stands at 6’8 and is 250lbs, while he hasn’t played in the MLB since 2014, you can find him in the Mexican Baseball League instead.
Freiman's wife, Amanda Blumenherst is a professional golfer, which isn't surprising when you learn that the two met as Duke University's 2009 Atheletes of the Year.
Kameron Loe – 6’8″, 245 lbs
6’8 and 245lbs, Kameron Loe wasn’t the greatest baseballer, despite him playing baseball since high school. And that’s a crying shame cause his height sure did make the difference.
Texas Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, and Atlanta Braves are just a few of the teams Loe has played for. Loe is a fan of exotic animals and has even kept a 7 foot long boa named Angel as a pet.
Mariusz Wach – 6’7.5″, 249 lbs
Considered one of the most physically striking boxers, Mariusz Wach is 6’7 and 250lbs. The Polish boxer is remembered for his 2012 bout against Wladimir Klitschko, where every punch was heard round the world.
Sadly for Wach, even that didn’t help him walk away with the title. He did, however, win every single fight he's had since, so he's probably not too mad about it.
Logan Ondrusek – 6’8″, 230 lbs
When speaking of relief pitchers, Logan Ondrusek is worthy of discussion. Formerly playing for the Cincinnati Reds, he now takes the mound at the Mexican League for the Leones de Yucatan.
At 6’8 and 230lbs, Ondruesk isn’t messing around. Especially when he’s wiping a 95+ MPH fastball at your face. Baseball is not a violent sport, but that fastball sounds like something that could cause some serious damage.
Wladimir Klitschko – 6’6″ , 243 lbs
Sure, a basketball player of 6’6 isn’t tall, but when you’re in the boxing ring, it makes all the difference. Ukrainian boxer Wladimir Klitschko is a force to be reckoned with in the ring, and not many opponents can deny that. Luckily for Wladimir's brother, Vitali, their mother made them promise that no matter how much of a boxer one of them might be, they must never fight with each other.
And here’s a fun fact: Klitschko is almost a foot and a half taller than his ex-wife, actress Hayden Panettiere, which makes him look even taller.
Troy Jackson – 6’10″
Athleticism must be running in the Jackson blood, as Troy Jackson is only one of the successful athletes his family produced. His brother Mark was an NBA player. The two must have made their parents very proud.
Jackson's latest documented weight was 375 lbs, which makes him big, to say the least. Surprisingly, however, he started his basketball career as a 500-pound beast. Sadly, Jackson passed away in 2011 at the age of 35 due to a heart condition.
Jon Rauch – 6’11″
Baseball may not house many physical athletes, but Jon Rauch has changed the rules. For 11 years, Rauch was a right-handed reliever. At 6’11, this Louisville native was not to be messed with on the mound.
Rauch is not just tall, he is the tallest player to ever play in Major League Baseball, and that's not even his greatest achievement – the man is an Olympic Medalist who won the gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. And don’t even ask about weight loss plans – he could eat you for breakfast and still want seconds.
Eddy Curry – 7’
With a height of 7 feet, Eddy Curry was practically born to be a basketball player, and it didn't take him long to start playing as a career. He joined the Chicago Bulls right as he graduated high school, and the road to becoming an NBA superstar was only natural to follow.
Last time he played an NBA game was for the Dallas Mavericks in 2012. After that, he got an offer he couldn't refuse from the Zhejiang Golden Bulls and started playing for them. He last played for the Zhuhai Wolf Warriors.
Loek Van Mil – 7’1″
Currently, Dutchman Loek van Mil plays for Adelaide Bite of the Australian Baseball League. The 34-year-old stands at 7’1 and is considered the tallest baseball player in the world.
Van Mil's long wingspan enables him to throw an impressive average speedball of 95 miles per hour (or 153 km/h), so he’s a force to be reckoned with!
The Great Khali – 7’2″
Dalip Singh Rana, or The Great Khali, as he’s best known, is a force in the ring. At a height of 7’2, The Great Khali goes down as the eighth tallest professional wrestler in 2014, and he is also the fourth-tallest wrestler in WWE history as of 2017.
In 2007, the man won the World Heavyweight Championship, and became the first Indian man to win that title. Some sites even claim that he’s actually the tallest active wrestler. Either way you spin it, the man’s a giant.
Manute Bol – 7’7″
Manute Bol was born in Sudan in 1962, though he doesn't have an officially recorded birth date. The men and women in his family are incredibly tall, and his great grandfather reached the mind blowing height of 7’10″, which was even taller than Bol himself.
Bol is still one of the tallest players the NBA has ever known. After a decade in the NBA, Manute Bol easily became a fierce paint-defender. However, at a height of 7’7, he had issues staying healthy and experienced health problems due to his size.
Michael Phelps – 6’4″
Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time and America’s golden boy, dedicated his whole life to becoming the best. With an astounding 28 Olympic medals under his belt, Phelps is known not only for his record-breaking success but also for his massive size.
Standing at 6ft 4in, Phelps has a body which seems tailor made for swimming. He has long legs, enormous hands and an incredible wingspan, all of which help him push himself through the water, from one victory to the next. Recently Phelps announced his retirement from swimming for the second time, but hopefully he will be back soon to break even more records.
Yao Ming – 7’6″
Chinese basketball star Yao Ming, at 7ft 6in, was for one season the tallest active player in the NBA. Over his long and successful career, Ming was an eight-time NBA all-star, made it to four NBA playoffs and led the Houston Rockets to a first round win in 2009. Unfortunately, two years after this big win, Ming was forced to retire due to recurring foot and ankle injuries which often kept him on the sidelines.
Fans were very upset by this news and soon after the announcement he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame and his jersey was retired.
Jan Koller – 6’7.5″
Jan Koller was one of the tallest and heaviest soccer players in the history of the sport and has an impressive scoring record. Born in the Czech Republic, Koller began his training as a goalkeeper but was soon moved to striker due to his talent for putting the ball in the net. He played for teams such as Borussia Dortmund, Monaco, and Anderlecht.
He was also instrumental in leading the Czech Republic’s team to the Euro Cup semi-finals in 2004 where he played side by side with stars like Milan Baros, Pavel Nedved, and Tomas Rosicky. Later in his career Koller played for French and Russian clubs and in 2011 announced his retirement due to multiple injuries.
Rik Smits – 7’4″
Rik Smits may not be one of the tallest players in NBA history, but at 7 feet 4 inches, it’s easy to see why Smits, known as “The Dunking Dutchman” dominated the game in his prime. Smits, who was born in The Netherlands, was known for more than just his height, he had good technical skills and was considered a smart player.
In 1998, he was even named as an NBA all-star. Smits played for his entire career with only one team, the Indian Pacers. I bet the good folks of Indiana appreciated the decision.
Hong-Man Choi – 7’2″
Korean kickboxer, wrestler and mixed martial artist Hong-Man Choi is known by many names, including “the Korean Colossus,” “Korean Monster,” and “Techno Goliath.” At 7ft 2in Choi knows how to use his superior size to overpower his opponents.
Sadly, Choi is on the road to retirement due to health reasons, but he is still a big star in South Korea. These days he is pursuing an acting career and has appeared on Korean TV shows “2 Days & 1 Night”, “Running Man”, and “Hey Ghost, Let’s Fight” and is also working on singing and rap skills.
Ivo Karlovic – 6’11”
Croatian tennis player Ivo Karlovic is 6 feet 11 inches tall. He soars above his competitors and is by far the tallest professional tennis player around. Karlovic uses his incredibly long arms and legs as leverage for powerful serves which overwhelm his opponents.
With a record-breaking serve reaching 156 miles per hour and the most career aces, 12,255 as of 2017, he is more than just a tall guy. Karlovic also won eight ATP singles titles between 2007 and 2016.
Darya Klishina – 5’11”
Darya Igorevna Klishina is one of the top long jumpers in the world. She has an Olympic silver medal and the record for second longest jump in the world in 2010. Klishina is well known for her incredible work ethic on the track and in the gym.
Unfortunately, Kilshina suffered by association with the Russian national federation scandal. The Russian team was banned from competition and twenty athletes, including Klishina, decided to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio as neutrals. This was not viewed favorably by the Russian government and public and many consider these athletes to be traitors.
Zdeno Chara – 6’9″
Zdeno Chara is the tallest player in the history of the NHL. With a height of 6ft 9in opposing teams try and steer clear of this immense defensive player. In his native Slovakia, Chara was encouraged to play basketball due to his height but was luckily drafted by the NHL. Chara is captain of the Boston Bruins and leads his team with a mix of hard work, dedication and in your face attitude on the ice.
He played in the Olympics and world Championships multiple times and made several appearances on the NHL all-star team. Chara is only the second team captain born and raised in Europe to win the prestigious Stanley Cup.
Laura Dijkema – 6ft
Dutch volleyball player Laura Dijkema is one of the tallest female professional athletes in the world at a whopping six feet. She has been playing volleyball since the age of 7 and has spent most of her professional career at German team Dresdner SC. She has also played for the Dutch National team, racking up three medals in just two years, in the 2015 Montreux Masters, the 2015 CEV European Championship, and the 2016 FIVB World Grand Prix.
Dijkema also won the illustrious title of “Best Setter” in the 2017 European Championship. Recently she has started playing for Italian team Il Bisonte Firenze.
Dane De La Rosa – 6’7″
Dana De La Rosa is one of the tallest pitchers in the game. With a height of 6 feet 7 inches, De La Rosa can sure tower above the pitcher’s mound. California born De La Rosa has played for several major league teams including the New York Yankees, the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
He is currently a free agent not signed to a specific team but is looking to find the right fit and get back into the ballgame.
Lacina Traore – 6’3″
Ivorian soccer player Lacina Traore earned the nickname “The Big Tree” for his towering height of 6ft 3in. Traora plays as a striker for the Ivory Coast and is often compared to players such as Didier Drogba, Wilfried Bony, and Salomon Kalou. In his soccer career, Traore has played for teams like Monaco, Everton, and Anzhi Makhachkala.
Even though the Ivory Coast didn’t qualify for the 2018 World Cup, there will be many more chances for Traore and his team to prove their worth in the world of soccer.
Brittney Griner – 6’9″
American basketball superstar Brittney Griner is known for her impressive height and enormous wingspan. Griner plays center for the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA and holds some impressive records. She is the only NCAA player to score 2,000 shots and block over 500. In 2012, she received the Best Female Athlete Espy award.
With so much under her belt, it is no wonder Griner was chosen for the USA Olympic Women’s team which she helped lead to victory. Griner is an amazing athlete in the prime of her career and even signed an endorsement deal with Nike in 2013.
Nikolai Valuev – 7ft
Even by heavyweight boxing standards, Nikolai Valuev is a giant. During the height of his career, the former professional boxer was almost impossible to beat. Valuev’s professional career lasted from 1993 to 2009, during which the “Russian Giant” won 50 of his 53 fights and became the biggest and heaviest boxing world champion.
He held on to the championship title for four years and retired due to medical reasons. But Valuev isn’t resting on his laurels, he has written a book, starred in movies and has a second career as a politician. He also founded the Valuev Boxing School.
Mohammad Irfan – 7’1″
Mohammad Irfan is the only cricket player featured on our list. At 7ft 1in, he is the tallest cricket player in the world. He has been a star on the Pakistani National Team since he joined almost a decade ago. Before he became a cricket player, Irfan worked in a pipe factory earning roughly $3 a week. After he was discovered, Irfan quickly rose in the ranks and became known as a well-paced left-arm fast bowler and in 2013 he helped the Pakistani team claim victory over South Africa.
In 2017 Irfan was suspended from the sport for six months due to a corruption scandal, but Ifran’s cricket career is still on track. In 2018 he played both in the Caribbean Premier League and the Bangladesh Premier League.
Aleksey Kazakov – 7’2″
Being tall is an advantage in many sports, but in Volleyball it can be a real game changer. At 7ft 2 in, Russian volleyball player Aleksey Kazakov used his immense frame and natural talent to become a star. At the height of his professional career, Kazakov towered above the rest and spiked his way into the Olympic team.
He won the bronze medal in the 2000 Olympics and moved up to Silver in 2004. He also shined at the 2001 European Championships in Ostrava, where he received the bronze medal, making Russia proud.
Aaron Sandilands – 6’11”
Australian football player Aaron Sandilands is a mountain of man at almost 7 feet. At one time, he was the AFL’s (Australian Football League) tallest and heaviest player and it’s not hard to imagine what kind of damage a tackle from this guy could inflict.
But Sandilands has more than just his size going for him with an illustrious athletic career of over 250 games. He has won four All-Australian awards, two Best Clubmen awards and two Doig Medals as the Fremantle Football Club’s best and fairest player. He is still going strong and is the club’s first player over the age of 35.
Richard Metcalfe – 7ft
At an imposing 7 feet, rugby player Richard Metcalfe is an average of six inches taller than his competition and was the tallest player in international rugby. His enormous height and intimidating style of play were kept the other players on the pitch on their toes.
The Scottish native achieved superstar status and won 13 Scotland caps and played for prestigious clubs including the Newcastle Falcons and the Northampton Saints. Unfortunately, Metcalfe’s burgeoning career was cut short due to a knee injury.
Kerri Lee Walsh Jennings – 6’3″
Kerri Walsh Jennings and her longtime team partner Misty May Treanor were one of the best beach volleyball teams in the history of the sport. This dynamic duo took home the gold in the Athens, Beijing and London Summer Olympics. Standing at an impressive height of 6ft 3in, Jennings is not only one the tallest volleyball players in the world but also one of the best.
She has worked incredibly hard for decades and her main goal is to bring more recognition to beach volleyball. These days, Jennings is training for the 2020 Olympics where she is sure she will bring home the gold.
Blanka Vlasic – 6’4″
At 6ft 4in, Blanka Vlasic has used her height to become a highly successful high jump champion. But she doesn’t just count on lucky genes, Vlasic is also known for her dedication, strong work ethic and excellent coach, a former athlete who just happens to be her father.
Over the course of her career, Vlasic has made her home country of Croatia proud with 16 prestigious medals, including twelve gold, three silver and one bronze. Vlasic had a career setback in 2005 and couldn’t compete in the Athens Olympics due to a thyroid condition but came back strong and these days she is preparing for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Suleiman Ali Nashnush – 8ft
Suleiman Ali Nashnush towers above the competition and is clearly the tallest athlete ever to play a sport. Although his height peaked at 8ft, he was “only” 7ft 10in during his basketball career. After he retired, he continued to grow and became one of only 17 people in recorded history to reach 8 feet.
Nashnush was also an actor, he had a small part in the Fellini film Satyricon. Nashnush’s great height was part of an abnormal growth disorder and was corrected by a successful operation.
Yvetta Hlavacova – 6’4.5″
In 2006, long-distance Croatian swimmer Yvetta Hlavacova swam across the English Channel with an incredible time of 7 hours and 25 minutes. This was a new world record and an incredible feat for the towering 6 foot 4.5 inches tall athlete. Her long legs and big hands were definitely an advantage in her ability to cross the channel so quickly.
It is hard to believe but before the record, Hlavacova was having trouble finding a swim club that would take her on. Afterwards, she was immediately recognized as a rising talent.
Lisa Leslie – 6’5″
At an impressive 6 foot 5 inches, Lisa Deshaun Leslie made the world sit up and take notice as the first woman in history to dunk in a WNBA game. Though she is not the tallest woman in sports, there is no doubt about her prowess on the court.
She played in multiple World Championships and in medal winning Olympic teams and was voted Sportswoman of the Year in 2001, when her team the Los Angeles Sparks won the WNBA Championship. In the past few years, Leslie has focused on modeling and acting.
Usain Bolt – 6’5″
Usain Bolt, known as the fastest man in the world, has dominated the field of running for the last three Olympic Games. At 6 foot 5 inches, he towers over the competition while he outruns them. Bolt used dedication, good genes and his signature stride to break every speed record known to man and is an 11-time World Championship winner.
His three consecutive Olympic victories in Beijing, London and Rio have inspired his home country of Jamaica and the entire world. These days, Bolt is trying his luck in a new sport, soccer.
Randy Johnson – 6’8″
“The Big Unit” seems like a nickname that is hard to live up to, but Randy Johnson at 6ft 8in is more than equal to the task. Johnson played major league baseball for an astounding 22 seasons, on six different teams but mostly for the Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks.
He is famous for being the fifth most successful left-handed baseball player of all time and for having the second-most career strikeouts (4,875) in MLB history. “The Big Unit” definitely made a big impact on professional baseball.
Mamadou N’Diaye – 7’6″
Senegalese born Mamsdou N’Diaye went to UC Irvine at 18 years old where he become the tallest basketball player in the NCAA Division. In 2016, he was drafted and spent some time with the Golden State Warriors and currently plays for Fuerza Regia de Monterrey in the Mexican league.
At 7ft 6in, N’Diaye is known for his enormous wingspan and is often compared to Yao Ming and Rudy Gobert. Instead of trying to emulate others, he is trying to develop his own identity and legacy as a player.
Holley Mangold – 415 lbs
I guess athleticism runs in the family, Holley Mangold, sister of former Jets center, Nick Mangold, is one of the biggest female Olympic weightlifters in the world. Mangold played football in high school and started lifting weights in 2008. Four years later, she qualified for the London Olympics but tore a wrist tendon before the competition and ended up placing tenth out of fourteen competitors.
She used to weigh 500 pounds but has lost a lot of weight and even participated in reality weight loss competition “The Biggest Loser”. These days, Mangold coaches the Dayton Barbell Club in Ohio.
Amazon Eve – 6’8″
Erika Ervin nicknamed “Amazon Eve”, is the tallest model in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records. She is 6 foot 8 inches tall without heels and was discovered while in Australia by the editor of Zoo Weekly and was featured on its cover.
Her unusual height and boundless confidence have also paved the way for her as a personal trainer and actress. She recently starred in the popular FX TV show American Horror Story and has two new movies coming out soon.
The Tree Man – 6’7″
The next athlete on our list in not a famous sportsman by regular standards. Southern California based personal trainer Danny Jones is 6ft 7in tall and achieved inadvertent fame after a Twitter user saw a photo of him and decided he looked more like a tree than a man.
“This [is] not a man, this [is] a tree.” reads the now infamous tweet from the man who dubbed Jones Tree Man. Jones who woke up to thousands of new followers didn’t understand the tree reference at first, but he it took it with a smile and seems happy with his new-found social media fame.
Eric “Butterbean” Esch – 425 lb
This super heavyweight fighter was a UFC star even before it took the world by storm. Eric Esch, known as “Butterbean”, was a household name with boxing, wrestling and mixed martial arts skills. He had great moves and a very long reach but was often hindered by his size. His greatest strength was not only knowing how to dish out punishment (if he was fast enough) but also how to take it.
His larger than life personality helped him to branch out from fighting and landed him acting roles, including a stint in “Jackass: The Movie” with Johnny Knoxville.
Andy Fordham – 6’2″, 445 lb
Throwing darts is not the most physical sport in the world. Therefore, old school professional darts players would usually spend more time at the bar drinking and practicing their throws than at the gym training. Andy Fordham, one of the world’s best darts players, is such an example.
He is known for his speed and accuracy but does not look like a typical athlete. Fordham, known as “The Viking”, for his size and beard, used to weigh 445lbs but decided to make a change and has lost over 200 lbs. He says he wants to be around for a long time for his grandchildren.
John Daly – 216 lb
Golfers are not usually thought of as the most physically fit of athletes and many people consider the “sport of gold” as more of a hobby or a way to get out of the house on Sunday. This however is a misconception and most golfers are in fact quite fit. John Daly, weighing in at 216bs is the exception to the rule.
Daly is well known in professional golf for his driving distance off the tee and has even earned the nickname “Long John” for his consistent 300-yard drives. He is also known for his free-wheeling attitude, inability to fit in with the country club set and his charitable work.
Sharran Alexander – 448 lb
A late bloomer, Sharran Alexander only discovered her love of sumo wrestling at the age of 41. London-born Alexander was working as a proper English nanny before she went out and made a tremendous impact on the sumo world. She was named the heaviest sportswoman in the 2013 Guinness World Record.
Alexander is one of only a few women recognized as a professional sumo wrestler by the British Sumo Federation and has an amazing international career, winning four gold medals in tournaments around the globe. Recently, she went on television to find love on a British dating show and said that some men were intimidated by her weight.
Big Show – 7ft, 383 lb
Paul Donald Wight II, known by his stage name Big Show, is a living wrestling legend reminiscent of Andre the Giant. This massive, larger than life figure, used to weigh an incredible 500lbs, but he has slimmed down and is in prime fighting condition at 383lbs.
Big Show is a part of wrestling history, having taken on some of the most iconic WWE superstars such Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker and is a seven-time world champion. Today, at almost 50 years of age, he is still going strong in the ring.
Gheorghe Muresan – 7’7″
Romanian born Gheorghe Muresan, may not have been the best basketball player in the NBA, but he was definitely one of the tallest. At the height of 7ft 7in, Muresan is a quarter of an inch taller than Sudanese player Manute Bol, which makes him the tallest player in the history of the league.
He was also the tallest person in the entire European Union. But Muresan used his height for more than just basketball, he starred in the movie “My Giant” with Billy Crystal and in Eminem’s rap video for “My Name is” and co-authored a book titles “The Boy’s Fitness Guide”.
Stefan Struve – 7ft
UFC heavyweight Stefan Struve is known as the “Skyscraper” for his impressive 7ft frame. Born in The Netherlands, Struve played soccer as a kid but fell in love with mixed martial arts after his brother took him to a local gym. From then on, he committed to intense training and after a few years his hard work paid off and he become the tallest fighter in the UFC.
His first fight in UFC 95 was far from a success, losing to Junior de Santos in the first round, but Struve rallied and went on to win over 70% of his matches in the years since, many by KO. Recently, the “Skyscraper” lost a match to Polish wrestler Marcin Tybura, but he will certainly be back soon to dominate!
Margo Dydek – 7’2″
Polish born Margo “Large Marge” Dydek was the tallest woman in the history of the WNBA. She started her career in Europe and played for Polish, French and Spanish teams before being recruited by the Utah Starzz. In the US she also played for the Connecticut Sun and the Los Angeles Sparks.
Dydek was known not just for her height but also for her work ethic, spending endless hours on the court improving her skills. After her retirement she moved to Australia where she coached the Northside Wizards in the Queensland Basketball League. Sadly, she passed away in 2011 from complications following a heart attack. She was pregnant with her third child at the time of her death.
Chuck Nevitt – 7’5″
In a sport dominated by tall people, Chuck Nevitt it still one of the tallest players in the history of the NBA with a height of 7ft 5in!
While he never reached superstar status or became a household name, Nevitt had an unusually long and stable career and played in the league for 12 seasons. During this time, he played for the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers and Detroit Pistons.
Konishiki Yasokichi – 633 lb
With no less than 633 pounds to his name, Konishiki Yasokichi is not a person you want to bump into in a dark alley. But don't let his size or his sumo wrestler training fool you, because he seems like a pretty chill dude.
Yasokichi was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and he was the first non-Japanese-born wrestler to win three division championships and reach the second highest rank in sumo, Ozeki. Sadly, Konishiki “Meat Bomb” Yasokichi got close but never earned the highest rank in Sumo, the Yokozuna, meaning grand champion. These days he has a music career and raps in English and Japanese.
With a five-year stint in the England national Team, Peter Crouch has certainly put his leg span to good use. Other achievements under his belt include two appearances at the World Cup, and breaking a Premier League record for the most headed goals!
Hafthor Julius “Thor” Bjornsson – 6’9″, 400 lb
You probably recognize this larger than life athlete - Hafthor Julius Bjornsson, born in Reykjavik, Iceland. In the past few years he has been busy starring in HBO’s hit show “Game of Thrones” as Gregor Clegane, or "The Mountain". Before he became a big-time actor, Bjornsson was a main contender in the World Strongest Man competition.
With a height of 6ft 9 in and weighing in at 400lbs, it’s no wonder that he was in the top three for six years running. He is also the first man in the world to win the Arnold Strongman Classic, Europe's Strongest Man and World's Strongest Man in the same year.
Andre The Giant – 7’4″, 520 lb
Andre the Giant was a wrestling legend with legions of fans all over the world. Many thought he was a staggering 7ft 4in tall, but he was more likely 6'9. He used his size and skills to fight three or four opponents at once and to defeat some WWE heavy hitters including big-name stars like Hulk Hogan and King Kong Bundy. He was also well known for his role as Fezzik, the good-hearted giant, in the iconic film “The Princess Bride”, which earned him plenty of new fans.
Andre the Giant suffered from a condition in which his body had an excess of human growth hormone and this is the reason for his enhanced proportions and deep voice. Sadly, he passed away from heart failure in 1993 when he only 46 years old.
Maria Sharapova – 6’2″
Maria Yuryevna Sharapova is one of the tallest women to ever play professional tennis. She moved to the United States from her home country of Russia in the early 1990’s to pursue her dream of being a champion. In the past three decades she has worked hard and become a regular on the WTA, even holding the number one place in singles on five separate occasions.
Sharapova is a prime example of determination and has bounced back from numerous injures over her career. She is still at the top of the tennis game today and has recently released a book titled “Unstoppable”.
Shaquille O’Neal – 7’1″
Shaquille O’Neal was one of the NBA’s biggest and most recognizable stars, with a personality big enough to match his 7’1” height.
The “Shaq” is considered to be one of the greatest players in the history of American basketball and played professionally for an amazing 19 consecutive seasons. These days he uses his big personality as a sports analyst on TV.