Basketball players are freakishly tall, with the average height reaching a towering 6’6, and even Shaquille O’Neal’s hands could easily double as canoe paddles. 

How the heck did they get so damn big, and can shooting hoops really stretch you out? 

We’ve delved into the science and translated it into simple English so you can finally achieve the height of your dreams. 

Are you prepared to grow a few more inches and live your best tall life?

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Does Basketball Make You taller?

Purple infographic with a basketball jumping very high and dunking the basketball, text that displays: does basketball make you taller

Basketball is a sport that demands high jumps, swift runs, and a lot of sweat.

Some folks believe that when you throw a basketball, you can stretch your body, which will make you taller in the end.

But is there any truth to this? Let’s break it down with a few fancy words.

Bone to Pick: The Anatomical Factors of Height

No science study proves that playing basketball makes you grow taller.

Height is mostly determined by the genes that take care of your bone growth.

The growth plates at the ends of your leg bones help with this growth, but they close shop when you hit your late teens or early twenties. 

No physical activity, not even basketball, can make these growth plates stay open or impact your growth.

Mind Games: The Psychological Factors of Height

But wait, don’t give up on playing basketball just yet. 

Even if it won’t make you grow taller, it can boost your posture and spine alignment.

Straightening up can help you appear taller and more confident, like a skyscraper standing tall against the city skyline. 

Jumping and landing in basketball exercises can build the muscles that support your spine. 

Plus, the core workouts that basketball players do can improve your overall posture.

And the best part? 

Exercise, including basketball games, can help you avoid bone conditions that make you shrink like a raisin as you age.

So, don’t let your height hold you back from scoring some hoops and looking tall and proud!

Height Determinants

Purple infographic of a tall and a short basketball player comparison, text that displays: Height determinants

So, you wanna know what factors can determine whether you’ll be a towering giant or a pint-sized pipsqueak? 

Sorry to break it to you, but playing basketball isn’t going to magically boost rapid height gain.

Here are three factors that play a big role in how tall you end up: genetics, nutrition, and hormones.


Your parents aren’t just responsible for your dashing good looks – they also pass on genes that can impact your height. 

These genes affect things like your growth plates, bone density, and skeletal structure, which affect your human growth hormone.

And if you have a genetic disorder like Turner syndrome, well, let’s just say you might not be dunking anytime soon.


Want to grow up big and strong? Eat your veggies! Seriously though, nutrition is super important for reaching your full height potential. 

Eating a healthy and balanced diet with plenty of calcium, vitamin D, and protein can help support bone growth and development (especially for those having a growth spurt).

But if you’re chowing down on nothing but junk food, you might end up with more shrimp than jumbo shrimp.


Hormones, they’re not just for mood swings and pimples…

Growth hormone, produced by your pituitary gland, is a big player in bone growth and development.

Thyroid hormones, made by your thyroid gland, also play a role in bone density and growth. 

If you have a hormone imbalance, like hypothyroidism or growth hormone deficiency, you might never become one of the tall people you were hoping to be.

The Height Hustle

Purple infographic of woman stretching to make herself tall, text that displays: The struggle of gaining height

Your potential to reach new heights is determined by a mix of factors, including your genes, what you eat, and your hormones. 

While your DNA does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to deciding how tall you’ll be, issues like poor nutrition and hormonal imbalances can also promote bone growth. 

For most folks, their peak height is reached during their teenage years or early twenties, but wonky hormones or medical conditions can cause some freaky growth spurts.

Size Matters (Sometimes)

The average height varies from place to place, but in general, guys tend to be around 5’7″ (170 cm), while gals usually top out at 5’2″ (157 cm). 

But don’t sweat it if you don’t fit the mold – factors like your ancestry and income level can also play a role in how tall you end up.

Evander’s opinion

Sad to say, but people with less income tend to eat more budget-friendly unhealthy foods with fewer nutrients your growth hormones desperately need.

Pumping Iron (and Jumping Around)

Physical activity and plyometric exercises can help you beef up your muscles, which can make you look taller and stand up straighter

Regular exercise can also help you keep your bones strong and fend off conditions like osteoporosis that could shrink you down the line.

If you decide to do jumping exercises, make sure you have proper shoes for jumping. You don’t want to get injuries.

Pro Athletes: Big and Tall

If you’re looking to rub shoulders with giants, hit up a pro sports team – especially one with professional basketball players or volleyball players.

Athletes in these sports tend to be taller than your average Joe, thanks in part to genetics, but also because their intense training and conditioning help them stand up straight and stay healthy.

Can you grow taller without ballin’ out?

Purple infographic with famous NBA Basketball player holding Spaldin basketball, text displays: Can you grow taller without medical intervention?

Sorry to burst your bubble, but you can’t magically stretch yourself taller without some serious genetic or medical intervention. 

While playing basketball can improve your posture and bone health, don’t expect to shoot up like a beanstalk. 

But, staying healthy and active can help you reach your maximum potential height.


If you really want to grow taller without having to undergo some unnatural medical intervention, you might want to consider shoes with thick insoles.

They will make you look taller on the basketball court, and if you want to go back to your average height, you can easily take them off.

What’s there to lose?

Basketball Benefits

Purple infographic of two woman playing basketball, text that displays: basketball benefits

Who cares if you’re not turning into a towering giant from playing basketball? The perks are still worth it, buddy. 

Let me drop some knowledge on you with three primo benefits, just to get your wheels turning:

Stand Up Straight!

Playing basketball demands proper posture, which can strengthen your core muscles and align your spine. 

Not only will this make you look taller and more confident, but it’ll also save you from back pain and other annoying issues.

Milk Does A Body Good

Continuous jumping for the orange hoop, and running back and forth can boost bone density and help you grow stronger bones. 

With strong bones, you’ll avoid breaks and injuries and also have a better chance of looking like a graceful giraffe on the court.

Swish Swish, Confidence

Playing basketball can make you feel like the MVP of your own life, boosting your self-esteem and confidence. 

And, when you feel good about yourself, your posture and body language will scream “I’m tall and fabulous,” even if you’re not exactly towering over everyone.

Playing basketball makes you feel confident as the biggest NBA stars!

Why are basketball players so damn tall anyway?

Purple infographic with famous basketball player giving basketball to US president G.W. Bush, text that displays: why are basketball players so tall?

Professional basketball players often have a genetic predisposition for height, as height is largely determined by one’s genes.

Professional basketball players who are taller have a natural advantage in the sport due to their ability to reach higher to shoot or block shots. 

However, this doesn’t mean that shorter basketball players can’t be successful playing basketball, as technique and skill are also important factors.

Let’s just say height is just one of many factors that will determine how well you will play basketball.

graph showing the average height of basketball players from 1951until 2021

Can basketball cause any issues with growth?

purple infographic with a basketball hoop in a stadium, text on infographic displays: can basketball cause any issues with growth?

While playing basketball won’t necessarily stunt your growth, going too hard in the paint or getting banged up can definitely put a damper on your potential height.

So, make sure you train smart, rest up, and don’t let any pesky injuries get in the way of your growth spurt!

Is it dangerous to use alternative methods for growing taller?

Purple infographic with text that displays: is it dangerous to use alternatives methods for growing taller?

Don’t fall for shady supplements or sketchy procedures promising to make you taller!

Trust us, risking your health just to gain a few extra inches is not worth it. If you’re looking to reach your height potential, stick to a healthy lifestyle and exercise routine.

And remember, being vertically challenged doesn’t mean you can’t dominate on the basketball court!

The Final Score: My Journey to Taller Heights

In summary, playing basketball is a great way to promote good posture, bone health, and overall physical well-being, but it’s not a guaranteed method for a significant height increase. 

It’s important to prioritize safety and avoid unnatural methods to increase height. 

So, if you’re looking to improve your physical health, play basketball while focusing on a healthy lifestyle and safe training practices.


No, playing basketball cannot guarantee an increase in height as height is mostly determined by genetics, and after puberty, most people stop growing taller. However, basketball can have positive effects on overall health, fitness, and posture.

No sport can guarantee that you’ll grow taller, but weight-bearing exercises like jumping can improve bone density and promote growth.

Boys typically stop growing between 17 and 21 years old.

Most people stop growing taller around 18-20 years old, but some may continue to grow until their mid-20s.

Genetics is the main factor, but good nutrition and physical exercise can also promote healthy growth.

Jumping and weight-bearing exercises can promote growth, but excessive or unsafe activities can lead to injuries and stunt growth.