It stands to reason that with a hoop placed 10ft off the floor, anyone who wants to put a ball through an 18in basket would need to be tall. However, throughout history, there have not been many people, men or women, that could reach that tall. This poses a unique challenge of having a person who can at least jump and throw a ball accurately enough to have the ball sink through the hoop. With that, there still needs to be some tallness to the person jumping and throwing the ball. Most people can only jump a few feet up into the air, and some are not even able to make it that high. So how tall does a basketball player need to be?

When it comes to male members of the MBA, most basketball players are an average height is about 6’7” tall. Considering that the average height for most American men is only 5’9” it does take a special person to be able to play basketball and perhaps it is why we always feel that a man playing basketball has to be extremely tall. However, whether a man makes a good basketball player or not depends on more than his height. His weight, his speed, and his ability to jump are all factors that can make even a shorter man able to play the game. This is proven by Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues, who is known as the shortest professional basketball player ever. He stood only 5’3” tall, which is shorter than the average sized woman. To counter that, the tallest man ever to play professional basketball is Sun Mingming who stood an astounding 7’9” tall.

Women who are a part of the WBA also have to be taller than average, though, as a general rule, their tallest players are nowhere near as tall as the men who play. However, there are a few women, like Malgorzata Dydek, who are the exception. Dydek stood 7’2” tall and she did earn recognition as being the tallest female basketball player in the world. The shortest female basketball players are about 5’2” and there are quite a few of them, even though the average height for most females in this sport is just under 6ft tall.