Tall NBA Players Who Had Relatively Short Parents

Updated on June 18, 2020
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I love writing about sports, particularly about NBA players.

Michael Jordan's father, James R. Jordan, was no more than 5'9". MJ's mother, Deloris Jordan, was around 5'5".
Michael Jordan's father, James R. Jordan, was no more than 5'9". MJ's mother, Deloris Jordan, was around 5'5".

No other sport in the world has height play such a crucial role in your overall success like basketball. With the average height of NBA players being 6'7", there is huge pressure on prospective players to meet certain height requirements. You can be easily overlooked if you are under 6'2". Most college scouts overlooked two-time league MVP, Steph Curry, largely due to his slight build and small frame. As a high school senior, Steph was only 6-foot tall and rail-thin. This can be tough on young players with parents who are below six feet in height since how tall you are is largely dependent on genetics.

Even with a dad over 6 feet, young basketball players are not assured they would make it to 6 feet especially with a mum below 5’4”. Take the story of Nate Robinson. He was measured at 5'9" going into his sophomore year of high school. With his dad standing at 6’1”, he was sure he would shoot up another three or four inches by the time he was a senior. Unfortunately, this never happened. Nate’s mum is short and so he probably inherited the short genes from her.

Even though there have been some very short players like Nate Robinson, Muggsy Bogues, and Spud Webb who made it into the NBA, these players possessed athleticism that was out of this world. The truth is that the probability of making it into the NBA if you are under six feet is very slim. Below are some NBA players who had relatively short parents (no taller than 5'10") but were still able to make it past 6'2". There is no doubt that these players' careers would have been different had they not grown as tall as they did.

Michael Jordan with his parents and siblings.
Michael Jordan with his parents and siblings.

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan is arguably the greatest NBA player of all time. However, the 6'6" former Chicago Bulls star did not come from a family of giants. In fact, none of his immediate family members were above six feet in height. His dad was no more than 5'9", and his mom was around 5'5". It is not surprising that Jordan was not very tall during his early years.

This is contrary to his best teammate Scottie Pippen whose mum stood at 6'0" and dad at 6'1". Pippen probably knew from an early age that he was destined to be at least 6'2" whilst Jordan might have been filled with uncertainty. This uncertainty forced the young Jordan to experiment with some crazy ideas in the hopes of getting taller. He would hang onto the pullup bars in the playground in the backyard each day to try to grow taller. His mother even suggested he put salt in his shoes and say a prayer every night seeing how desperate he was to grow tall.

When Michael Jordan entered E.A. Laney High School in 1979, he was only 5’8” tall. At his high school, MJ played basketball, football, and baseball. He had grown to a height of 5'11" his sophomore year of high school. This made him taller than his two older brothers. Jordan's height of 5'11" which though quite taller than the average height for his age at the time was still considered short by basketball standards. He and his childhood friend, Harvest Leroy Smith, tried out for the lone sophomore opening on the varsity basketball team. Smith, who was 6'7", was selected because of his height, while the 5'11" Jordan was sent to the JV basketball team by coach Clifton "Pop" Herring. This would serve as the motivation he needed to work harder. Michael would miraculously grow to 6'3" the following summer before finally beating all expectations to reach his adult height of 6'6".

Michael had an older cousin who was 6'7" and lived with the family briefly while he was in high school, working on basketball with the younger boys. This is proof that there were genes for tallness somewhere in his family line. Michael was just very lucky to have inherited those genes. Imagine what a gem the game of basketball would have lost had he not. MJ admits that his toughest opponent to date was his brother, Larry Jordan. He says Larry could have been a better player than himself had he grown past 5'8".

Michael Jordan has two sons; Marcus Jordan and Jeffrey Jordan. Jeffrey Jordan stands at 6'1" and Marcus Jordan stands at 6'2".

Russell Westbrook with his dad, mum, and brother.
Russell Westbrook with his dad, mum, and brother.

Russell Westbrook

The point guard for the Houston Rockets is a tad bit on the shorter side at 6'3". He is still certainly taller than the average person and is much taller than his parents. His father, Russell Westbrook Jr., stands at 5'8". His mother, Shannon Horton, is around 5'7" which is quite tall for a woman. It is highly likely Russell inherited his tall genes from his mom's side of the family.

The NBA star had a rather large growth spurt during high school. He was 5'8" as a freshman with size-13 feet and didn’t start on varsity until his junior year. None of the major camps or elite AAU squads extended invitations to the 5'10" sophomore. Before his senior year, Russell had shot up five inches and his game had greatly improved. He had reached his full adult height of 6'3" by the time he started playing at UCLA.

Russell's younger and only brother, Raynard Westbrook, stands at only around 5'6" and goes to show how lucky Russell Westbrook was to have inherited the right genes for height from his family as he will clearly be nowhere near the player he is today if he didn't grow past 5'8".

Jeremy Lin with his mum, dad, and two brothers.
Jeremy Lin with his mum, dad, and two brothers.

Jeremy Lin

Jeremy Lin is one of the few Asian Americans to play in the NBA, and the first American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the league. Being of Asian descent, it is no surprise that both of his parents are under six feet tall. His mom and dad both stand at 5'6".

The former Golden State Warriors player has admitted that he used to blame his dad for being short. This was because he stood at only 5'3" when he was 15. Jeremy would eventually reach his adult height of 6'3" and has since apologised to his father.

His maternal grandmother's family was tall, and her father was over 6'0". This may account for where Jeremy got his height from. He was very lucky to have inherited tall genes from that side of his family because his two brothers, Joseph, and Josh Lin, are below 6'0". His younger brother, Joseph Lin, is next tallest at around 5'11" and currently plays in Taiwan's Super Basketball League.

Gordon Hayward with his dad, mum, and twin sister.
Gordon Hayward with his dad, mum, and twin sister. | Source

Gordon Hayward

Gordon Hayward currently plays for the Boston Celtics. He played college basketball at Butler University for two seasons where he led his team to a runner-up finish in the 2010 NCAA Tournament during his sophomore season. Hayward was named an NBA All-Star for the first time in 2017.

It had always been the dream of Gordon to play in the NBA since age 5. With his mom and dad both standing at 5’10, this dream seemed bleak. He stood at only 5’11 during his freshman year of high school, and his doctor had predicted that he was not going to be more than 6’2”. Because of this, he focussed on building the skills that would set him up for success as a guard.

According to sports commentator Pat Forde, Hayward's father "continually pushed his son to develop a guard's skill set," believing he was destined to be of average size. He trained him to be the best ball handler, outside shooter, and facilitator he could be. Hayward's unusual skill set was largely the result of his father's misconception about his future growth. Forde refers to Hayward as "The guy who learned how to play like a guard but now has the size of a power forward."

Hayward had even considered quitting basketball entirely to focus on tennis at one point because he knew that a career in the NBA wasn’t likely if he didn’t break out of his 5’11” mold. He and his twin sister, Heather, both starred at tennis and were a fantastic mixed doubles pair. Gordon's first appearance in the sports pages was not in basketball but in tennis. However, his mother persuaded him to stay with basketball for one more year.

Some may call it serendipity, others divine intervention. Either way, Gordon had an unexpected growth spurt that changed the course of his career. He shot up to 6'4" as a sophomore. Two years after he almost abandoned basketball, he had grown to 6'7" (2.01 m). He reached 6'8" (2.03 m) as a senior and reportedly added another inch at Butler (though the NBA lists him at 6'8"). Suddenly, the kid who was a solid guard had turned into an incredible, unique swingman with a guard skill set. He almost turned into a different player overnight. As his high school coach Joshua Kendrick described, it was “like a kid discovered superpowers.”

Can you guess where Wilt Chamberlain is?
Can you guess where Wilt Chamberlain is?

Wilt Chamberlain

Wilt Chamberlain is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most dominant players in NBA history. It is hard to believe that Wilt, who was 7'1", was conceived by parents who were of average height but that was the case. Wilt's dad, William Chamberlain, was only 5'8". His mom, Olivia Ruth Johnson, stood at 5'9".

Olivia Johnson used to tell young Wilt stories of her grandfather who was a farmer and stood at around 7'0". This might explain where Wilt got his unusual height from. The family had tall genes because one of his brothers, Wilbert Chamberlain, also grew to 6'5".

The only player to score 100 points in a single NBA game was already six feet tall at age 10. He was 6'11" when he entered Philadelphia's Overbrook High School and had a strong advantage over his peers.

Despite his overall dominance, Wilt was very terrible at free-throw shooting. During his career, he missed 5,805 free throws. He used to dunk his free throws, and the NCAA and NBA banned crossing the foul line during a shot because of him. Amazingly, he never fouled out of an NBA game.

Moses Malone had significantly small hands for his height of 6'10".
Moses Malone had significantly small hands for his height of 6'10".

Moses Malone

Moses Malone is regarded as the greatest offensive rebounder of all time. The three-time NBA Most Valuable Player who stood at 6'10" had a dad who was only 5'6". His mom stood at a mere 5'2".

Only his hands seemed a result of that union for he had incredibly small hands for a man of 6'10". He could palm the ball but couldn't dunk and control the ball like so many small guards. Because of this, Tom Nissalke, the Rockets' coach, gave him a series of hand-stretching exercises, like those for a pianist.

The same medical anomaly that produced a 6′10″ child from a 5′2″ mother and 5′6″ father gave him his small hands. His teammate Rick Barry once joked that if his hands were proportionate to his body, the league would have to outlaw him. It was probably due to the fact that he had to work extra hard to overcome this limitation which ironically resulted in him being one of the game's best rebounders.

He had reached his full height when he was 19 and was one of the most sought-after college basketball prospects in history. He became the first player to enter professional basketball directly from high school.

Gheorghe Muresan with his two sons, George and Victor.
Gheorghe Muresan with his two sons, George and Victor.

Gheorghe Dumitru Mureșan

Gheorghe Dumitru Mureșan is one of the two tallest players in NBA history. The other is Manute Bol, and they both stood at 7'7". Mureșan is the tallest man in Romania and is currently the tallest living person in the European Union after the death of Game of Thrones star Neil Fingleton.

Gheorghe did not get his height from his parents. His dad is 5'9," and his mom is 5'7". Manute Bol, on the other hand, came from a family of extraordinarily tall people. Bol's mom was 6'10", his dad was 6'8", and his sister was also 6'8". Manute's great-grandfather was even taller at 7'10". His ethnic group, the Dinka, and the Nilotic people of which they are a part of, are among the taller populations of the world.

Gheorghe’s height is the result of a pituitary gland condition. He would probably still be tall if he didn’t have this condition, just not 7'7". Almost immediately after he was selected in the second round of the NBA draft by Washington, he underwent surgery to eliminate the tumor on his pituitary gland.

The former Washington Bullets and New Jersey Nets player didn't start playing basketball until he was 14. He enjoyed playing soccer and was encouraged to try out basketball because he stood at almost 7'0" at that age. His career was unfortunately derailed by injuries.

Gheorghe is married to a Romanian lady called Liliane who stands at 6'1". They have two sons, George and Victor, who also have a love for basketball. His older son George is already 6'8" at 16. His younger son Victor, who is only 13, is the same height as his mom Liliane.

Average NBA Height by Position

Position
Height
Point Guard
6'2"
Shooting Guard
6'5"
Small Forward
6'7"
Power Forward
6'9"
Center
6'11"

Other NBA Players Who are Way Taller Than Their Parents

The NBA players below don't necessarily have short parents. However, their heights are way above the normal range for parents that height.

Shaquille O'Neal

To be fair, Shaq's parents are taller than average. His mother, Lucille O'Neal, is 6'2". His father, Joe Toney, is 6'1". However, they are still well below the average NBA height. More importantly, they are dwarfed by their son who towers at 7'1". He was already 6'6" at 13 and stood at 6'10" by his sophomore year of high school.

Shaq's son, Shareef O'Neal, stands at 6'9". He is 4 inches shorter than his dad.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

This is another case of parents being relatively short to their son. Kareem's father, Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Sr., was fairly tall at 6'2". His mother, Cora Lillian, had an above average height at six feet. These heights are still well below the NBA average and well below Kareem's height of 7'2". The hall of famer was a fast grower as he was already 5'8" at age nine and was 6'8" in high school.

LeBron James

King James stands at 6'8", which makes the small forward a rather imposing figure. His height is more impressive considering that his mother, Gloria Marie James, only stands at 5'5". No one knows for sure how tall his father Anthony McClelland is, but it seems his stature is not that impressive either.

LeBron's height can be attributed to luck. He was around 5'7" when he was 11 and was told by a doctor he would only grow to be 6'3. James was able to beat the odds by growing to 6′8". The average 11-year-old boy stands around 4'9", so LeBron was pretty tall for his age. He was already 6'5" in his freshman year of high school where he was an immediate star of his varsity team. He grew an additional two inches by his junior year when he was considered a top pick from NBA scouts. He became the second player to be drafted at number one straight from high school. His career accolades include being a three-time NBA Champion, a four-time MVP, and a 14-time All-Star.

Tacko Fall

This legit giant from Senegal is one of the tallest living human beings in the world currently. At an unbelievable height of 7’7” in shoes, one would expect one of Tacko’s parents to be at least 6’5” but this isn’t the case.

This is really contrary to most of the tallest players in NBA history who either have exceptionally tall parents or suffered from some form of pituitary gland condition. For instance, Shawn Bradley and Yao Ming stand at roughly the same height as Tacko Fall and both have really tall parents. Bradley’s dad and mum stand at 6’8” and 6’0” respectively. Ming has a 6’7” dad and a 6’3” mum.

However, Fall’s dad stands at an unremarkable 6’0” and his mum at 5’8” which is still significantly taller than the average Senegalese woman, who by the way are the tallest women in Africa. Tacko Fall doesn't have a problem with his pituitary gland and his height should come as no surprise as his ancestors were some of the tallest people to walk the face of the earth.

His grandma used to tell him that her grandfather was really tall — like him. Some tribes from his region have an average height of 6'6". Tacko has two uncles who are 6’8”. His younger brother, Fallou, was reportedly 5’9” at just 7 years of age.

Boban Marjanović

The man who holds the unofficial title for the largest hands in the history of the NBA didn’t inherit his incredible 7’3” stature from his parents. Marjanović’s parents are of average height. His mum stands at 5’6” and his dad is 5’9”.

Like Mureșan, Boban likely suffered from a pituitary gland condition which led to his gigantism. Though there is no solid evidence to support this, you can easily tell Marjanović is not a true giant but a pituitary giant from his facial features.

Kristaps Porzingis

Kristaps Porzingis’ parents are well above average height. His dad, Talis Porzingis, is 6'4 and his mum, Ingrīda Porziņģe, is 6'0. Kristaps was obviously destined to be tall but I’m pretty sure no one in his family predicted he would reach a staggering 7’3”.

He was very lucky to hit the genetic lottery. Kristaps’ two brothers, Janis and Martins, are in the normal range for height one would expect from a 6’4 father and a 6’0 mother. Jānis Porziņģis stands at 6’7” and Martins Porzingis at 6’4”. Kristaps Porzingis was already 6’8” at 15 in high school.

Kristaps Porzingis with his mum, dad, and two brothers.
Kristaps Porzingis with his mum, dad, and two brothers.

Heights of Parents of Other Famous NBA Players

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant's mom, Wanda Durant, stands at around 6'0" and Durant's dad, Wayne Pratt, is around 6'3". Kevin Durant was unusually tall from a young age. He stood at 6'3" during his freshman year of high school. He was 6'8" during his junior year and had grown to a staggering 6'9" his senior year of high school. Kevin Durant continued to grow in college and during his first few years in the NBA, finally reaching a height of 6'11". Kevin has an older brother, Tony Durant, who played college basketball at Towson University. Tony is 6'7" tall.

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant's dad, Joe Bryant, stands at 6’9” and his mum, Pamela Cox Bryant, is 5’8”. Kobe Bryant was around 6'1" as a freshman in high school. Kobe Bryant entered the NBA Draft at just 17 years old. His parents had to sign his contract for him because he wasn't old enough. He played his first professional game in the NBA at just 18 years and 72 days old becoming one of the youngest players to ever play in the NBA. However, the youngest player to ever play in the NBA was Andrew Bynum who played his first game at the age of 18 years and six days.

Zion Williamson

Zion Williamson's mom, Sharonda Sampson, is 5'10" and Zion's dad, Lateef Williamson, is 6'4". Zion was just 5'9" in the 8th grade. He grew six inches between eighth and ninth grade and entered into his freshman year of high school standing at 6’3". Zion grew four inches over the course of high school sprouting from a stocky 6'3" to a manly 6'7".

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo's dad, Charles Antetokounmpo, stood at 6'6" and Giannis' mum, Veronica Antetokounmpo, is around 6'0". Giannis came into the NBA as a 6’9” skinny kid. He has grown to 6’11” and is currently dominating the game. Giannis has 4 brothers who are all basketball players with the exception of his eldest brother Francis Antetokounmpo who focussed on soccer just like his late dad, Charles. Francis stands at 6'5" and played as a midfielder for a professional club in Greece’s second-tier league. Thanasis Antetokounmpo is 6'6" and plays for the Milwaukee Bucks. Kostas Antetokounmpo is 6'10" and is a player for the Los Angeles Lakers. Giannis's youngest brother, Alex Antetokounmpo, who is 6'7" plans to skip college and play professionally in Europe to prepare for the NBA.

Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry's mother, Sonya Curry, stands at 5'3". Steph's dad, Dell Curry, stands at 6'4". Steph Curry stood at only 5'6" and weighed 130 pounds in his freshman and sophomore year of high school. He grew to 5'9" his junior year and had a big growth spurt, to about 6-foot, going into his senior year. Steph grew into his adult height of 6'3" in his sophomore year at Davidson College. Steph's brother, Seth Curry, stands at 6'2" and his sister, Sydel Curry, stands at 5'9".

Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard's dad, Mark Leonard, stood at around 6'3" and Kawhi's mum, Kim Robertson, is around 5'5". Kawhi's father was shot and killed at a Compton car wash he owned in 2008. Kawhi was only 16 at the time and the murderer has still not been identified.

Chris Paul

Chris Paul's dad, Charles Paul, stands at 6'0" and Chris' mum, Robin Paul, is around 5'5". Chris Paul stood at 5'8" during his freshman year of high school. He was already a very skilled basketball player and wanted to make it onto the varsity team but he just didn't have the height. Chris's brother, C.J., who stood at 6'1" was the star of the varsity team at the time. Chris opted to join the junior varsity team in his freshman year because he wasn't big enough. He played on it for two years and hit a growth spurt during his junior year of high school that propelled him to 6'0". Chris's dream of playing basketball was now closer than ever.

Dennis Rodman

Dennis Rodman comes from a family of tall people so it's quite surprising he stood at only 5'6" in high school. His dad, Philander Rodman Jr., is around 6'5" and his mum, Shirley Rodman, is around 5'11". Dennis has two sisters Kim and Debra who stand at 6'1" and 6'3" respectively. Rodman warmed the bench for a half-season of high school basketball and then quit. He was 5’9” when he graduated high school. Two years after high school, Rodman had grown from 5’9” to 6’8”.

Scottie Pippen

Scottie Pippen's mom, Ethel Pippen, stood at 6'0" and Pippen's dad, Preston Pippen, stood at 6'1". Scottie Pippen is the tallest and youngest of 11 siblings who all stand at least 6'0". It's usually rare for most people to grow after high school. Scottie beat the odds by growing from 6'1 to 6'8 after high school.

Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis' mother, Erainer Davis, stands at 6'1". Davis' dad, Anthony Sr., stands at 6'3". Between his sophomore and senior years in high school, Anthony Davis grew from 6′2 to 6′10. He went from a lightly-recruited guard to one of the best high school players in the country. Davis has a twin sister, Antoinnete, who stands at 5'8". His older sister, Lesha, is a 5'10" basketball player at Daley College.

Yao Ming

Yao Ming's dad, Yao Zhiyuan, stands at 6'7" and his mum, Fang Fengdi, stands at 6'3". Both of Ming’s parents were former professional basketball players. At 11 pounds (5.0 kg), Yao weighed more than twice as much as the average Chinese new-born. When Yao was nine years old, he began playing basketball and attended a junior sports school. The following year, Yao measured 5’5” and was examined by sports doctors, who predicted he would grow to 7’3”. He beat the doctors’ odds and grew to 7’6” becoming one of the best basketball players to come out of China.

Shawn Bradley

Shawn Bradley's dad, Reiner Bradley, stood at 6'8" and his mum, Teresa Bradley, stands at 6'0". Born in Germany on March 21, 1972, Shawn Bradley measured into mortal life at a quite-normal 19 inches and 10 pounds. However, from age one; it was apparent he was going to be extremely tall. People confused him for a 3-year-old when he was just a year old. Shawn grew three inches every year since second grade which forced his parents to send him to doctors. By age 13, he had reached the 6’11” stature that was projected for him by doctors. Shawn towered at 6’1” by the end of sixth grade and 7’0” at the end of ninth grade. By his senior year of high school, he had reached 7’5” and was one of the most highly touted high school basketball players in the United States.

Height is a Bradley trait. Shawn's youngest sister Adrianne was 4'10” at age nine and eventually grew to 6’2”. His sister Tasha is 6′1”. Shawn’s only brother, Justin, stands at 6'8″. His grandfathers are 6’4”, and one of his grandfather's brothers is 6’10”. Shawn Bradley has a daughter, Charity Bradley, who stands at 6’4”.

Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson's dad, Mychal Thompson, stands at 6'10" and Klay’s mum, Julie Thompson, is around 5'6". Klay's younger brother, Trayce Thompson, stands at 6'3" and has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics. His older brother, Mychel Thompson, stands at 6'7" and played college basketball at Pepperdine University.

James Harden

James Harden's mum, Monja Willis, stands at around 5’8” which is pretty tall for a woman and where James likely got most of his 6’5” height from. His dad, James Harden Sr., is fairly tall at around 6’2”. James Harden stood at 6'0" his freshman year of high school and was already 6'4" as a sophomore. He only grew an inch his senior year. James has two siblings: a half-brother named Akili Roberson who played quarterback for the University of Kansas and a sister named Arnique Jelks.

Isaiah Thomas

Nobody is tall in Isaiah Thomas' family so he knew at a young age that he wouldn't be that tall. Isaiah’s father, James Thomas, is 5'6". His mother, Tina Baldtrip, is quite tall for a woman at 5'7". Isaiah Thomas' grandfather was 5'6". Upon reaching adolescence and still awaiting a growth spurt, Thomas tried to accelerate the process. There was a pullup bar in his mom's basement and he would do a lot of pull-ups down there hoping to get to 6 feet. Unfortunately, he was only able to make it to 5'9". Tragically, his only sister, Chyna Thomas, was killed in a car accident in Washington state. She was only 22.

Lonzo Ball

Lonzo Ball's mum, Tina Ball, stands at 6’1” and is a former college basketball player. Lonzo’s dad, LaVar Ball, stands at 6'6" and is a former professional football tight end. Considering the height of his parents especially his 6’1” mum, one would expect Lonzo to be at least 6’8” but he ended up at 6’6” just like his dad. He stood at 6’2” in the ninth grade and had grown to 6’5” by the time he was in the eleventh grade. He grew an additional inch in the twelfth grade. Lonzo has two brothers, LaMelo and LiAngelo. LaMelo is the tallest of the brothers at 6’7” and LiAngelo is the shortest at 6’5”.

Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons' dad, Dave Simmons, stands at 6’9”. His mum, Julie Simmons, is around 5’4”. Ben was pretty lucky to surpass his dad’s height to reach 6’10” considering the height of his mum. He was already well over six-feet tall at just 13 years old. By the age of 15, Ben stood at a staggering 6'6". He grew to 6’8” his sophomore of high school and grew an additional two inches from his junior year to his senior year at Montverde Academy.

Ben has four siblings: Olivia Simmons, Liam Tribe-Simmons, Melissa Tribe, and Emily Katherine Tribe. His brother, Liam Tribe-Simmons, is a basketball coach and stands at 6’1”. His sister, Olivia Simmons, is 6’0” and is an Australian former college basketball player who played for the Arizona State Sun Devils women's basketball team of Pac-12 Conference.

Paul George

Paul George's dad, Paul George Sr., stands at 6’5”. His mum, Paulette George, is really tall for a woman at 6’0”. Paul was about six feet tall during his freshman at Knight High School and was as skinny as a rail. Although Paul joined the varsity team early in his sophomore season, he wasn’t a star until he was a senior. He shot up to 6’7” during his sophomore year and was asked to play on the inside. By his senior year, Paul had reached a height of 6’8” and was a completely different player heading to Fresno State. He grew another inch after he was drafted and achieved his adult height of 6’9”. Paul George has two older sisters, Teiosha and Portala George. Teiosha is a gifted basketball player as well and stands at 6'4". She played basketball at Pepperdine. Portala played volleyball at CSU-San Bernardino and is 6'2".

Jayson Tatum

Jayson Tatum's mother, Brandy Cole-Barnes, is pretty tall at around 5’11”. His dad, Justin Tatum, stands at 6’7”. Jayson grew into his adult height at a very early age. He was already 6’7” in the ninth grade and only managed to add an inch between his sophomore and senior year of high school at Chaminade College Prep. Jayson has a younger brother, Jaycob, and a younger sister, Kayden.

Luka Doncic

Luka Doncic’s dad, Saša Dončić, stands at 6’7.5”. His mum, Mirjam Poterbin, stands at around 5’7”. Luka was already 6’2” at just 13 years of age and had reached his adult height of 6’7” by the time he was 16 years.

Dwayne Wade

Dwayne Wade's dad, Dwayne Wade Sr., stands at 6'3" and his mum, Jolinda Wade, is around 5'5". Dwayne Wade stood at only 5’8” throughout his freshman to his sophomore year of high school. It was not until his junior year at age 17 that he experienced a growth spurt that propelled him to 6’2”. He grew two more inches in his senior year to reach his adult height of 6’4”. Dwayne Wade's son, Zaire Wade, is 6’3” and plays as a point guard.

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving's mom, Elizabeth Larson, stood at around 5'5". Elizabeth died of an illness when Kyrie was four. Kyrie's dad, Drederick Irving, is 6'4". Kyrie Irving stood at just 5'7" in the eighth grade. During his sophomore year of high school, he had grown to be 5'10" and had gotten a little quicker. Kyrie grew an additional three inches to 6’1” his junior year before finally reaching 6’2” his senior year. Kyrie has an older sister, Asia, and a younger sister, London.

Giannis Antetokounmpo with his mum, late dad and brothers.
Giannis Antetokounmpo with his mum, late dad and brothers.

Some Players Heights in High School

Players
High School
Height as a Freshman
Height as a Sophomore
Height as a Junior
Height as a Senior
Lebron James
St. Vincent–St. Mary
6'5"
6'6"
6'7"
6'8"
Michael Jordan
Emsley A. Laney
5'8"
5'11"
6'4"
6'5"
Stephen Curry
Charlotte Christian
5'6"
5'6"
5'9"
6'0"
Russell Westbrook
Leuzinger
5'8"
5'10"
6'3"
6'3"
Kyrie Irving
St. Patrick
5'7"
5'10"
6’1”
6’2”
Kevin Durant
Oak Hill Academy
6'3"
6'8"
6'8"
6'9"
James Harden
Artesia
6'0"
6'4"
6'4"
6'5"
Chris Paul
West Forsyth
5'8"
5'8"
6'0"
6'0"
Paul George
Knight
6'0"
6’7”
6’7”
6’7”
Dwyane Wade
Harold L. Richards
5’8”
5’8”
6’2”
6’4”
Luka Dončić
Madrid
6'2"
6'6"
6'7"
6'7"
Jayson Tatum
Chaminade College Prep
6’7”
6’7”
6’8”
6’8”
Ben Simmons
Montverde Academy
6'6"
6’8”
6'9"
6'10"
Lonzo Ball
Chino Hills
6’2”
6'5"
6'5"
6'6"
Anthony Davis
Perspectives Charter
6'0"
6'4"
6'8"
6'10"
Zion Williamson
Spartanburg Day
6'3"
6'6"
6'7"
6'7"
Shaquille O'Neal
Robert G. Cole
6'8"
6'10"
6'11"
7'1"
Larry Bird
Springs Valley
6’1”
6'3"
6’3”
6’7”
Charles Barkley
Leeds
5'10"
5'10"
5'10"
6'4"
Tim Duncan
St. Dunstan's Episcopal
6'3"
6'5"
6'9"
6'10"
Ja Morant
Crestwood
5’9”
5’10”
6’0”
6’3”
Markelle Fultz
DeMatha Catholic
5’9”
5’9”
6’3”
6’3”
Kelly Olynyk
South Kamloops
6’3”
6’3”
6’10”
6’10”
Gordon Hayward
Brownsburg
5’11"
6'4"
6'6"
6'7"

Can I Increase My Height Like an NBA Player?

The harsh reality is that your height is largely determined by genetics. Granted, as these NBA players have shown, some people can overcome this. However, the vast majority of us will be roughly the same height as our parents. There are some measures you can take to reach your maximum potential height. Nutrition plays an important role in a person's developing years. Getting the proper amount of vitamins and minerals can help your body grow strong and potentially taller during puberty. Getting plenty of sleep is important as well as this is when your body develops growth hormones. Keep in mind that this is only applicable for children and young teenagers. You are generally done growing by the time you hit your late teens and early 20s.

Are these the only NBA players who had short parents? I highly doubt so. If you know of any other players, please let me know in the comments section below.

Questions & Answers

© 2016 Charles Nuamah

Comments

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    • profile image

      Nolan 

      2 weeks ago

      My mom is 5’4 and my dad is 5’7 but I’m 15 and I’m 6’3

    • profile image

      Matthew Eagleson 

      7 weeks ago

      my mom is 5'3, my dad is 6'1, my 24 year old sister is 5'2, my 23 year old sister is 5'4, and my older brother is 6'2, and my younger brother is 5'2. Im 14.5 and im 6'3. RIGHT NOW IM THE TALLEST IN MY FAMILY

    • profile image

      Secret 

      2 months ago

      My mom stands only at 5'2 and my dad stands at 6'1, currently im 5'8 and im 17. Would it be possible if i grow at past 6'1 just like my father?

    • profile image

      Jamarion Thomas 

      7 months ago

      My dad is 5’6 and my mom is 5’3 and her dad is 6’5 and my dad dad is 5’8 do you think I’ll grow pass 6 foot? I’m currently 5’8

    • profile image

      Anonymous 

      10 months ago

      My mom is 5’7 and my dad is 6’1 and my brother is 6’0 I am taller than what my brother was when he was 11 I am about 5’0.5 so far

      (my family is late bloomers)

    • profile image

      Marshall Maclennan 

      23 months ago

      Im 14.5 and my dad is 6'3 and my mom is 5'6 and I am only 5'4,My dads side of the family for hundreds of years are all taller than 6 foot.My moms side of the family are short,I love the game of basketball and I can barely defend the players on my team who are 6'4.Will i Grow taller and reach 6'5 which is in my opinion"My ideal height"

    • profile image

      MItul Naik 

      24 months ago

      I'm 13.5 and soon gonna be a freshman in high school. I am currently 5'11 and my dad is 5'9 and my mom is 5'6. Most of my uncles are average (5'10) or above average height (6+) and my grandpa is 5'9 ish. Will I grow past 6'4?

    • profile image

      Raymond montiel 

      24 months ago

      Im 12 and already 5'8 my mom is 5'5 and my dad is 5'11 but my grandpa is 6'7 and all of my cousins are over 6 feet do you know if i would become over 6'2?

    • profile image

      fatur 

      2 years ago

      You forgot about Russell Westbrook and Dennis Rodman

    • profile image

      tyler berry 

      2 years ago

      lebron in 8th grade was 6'1 and later in high school grew to 6'8 around his junior to senior year. his doctor in his freshman year said that he wouldn't be no taller than 6'3 but i guess he beat the odds.

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