Senegalese professional basketball player Mamadou N’Diaye, who played in the NCAA and was drafted by a few NBA teams only to be cut before the regular season began because his skills were not up to NBA standards, is one immensely tall person at 7 feet and 6 inches. Unfortunately, he didn’t start a successful career in the NBA, which is the world’s premier basketball league, but he did, to his credit, end up playing for The Correcaminos UAT Victoria, a Mexican professional basketball team. Mamadou N’Diaye, at 26 years of age, still has his career ahead of him, so he could still be drafted to the NBA if he performs spectacularly for the league he’s currently playing in.


Professional baseball player Randy Johnson, who was nicknamed “The Big Unit” because of his towering height, has had quite a storied career in baseball. He has 303 career victories and 4,875 strikeouts, which puts him at the top 2 in terms of strikeouts behind Nolan Ryan. His height—and by extension, his strength—is what he credits for his dominant fastball, which is regarded among the best in the league. Johnson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015, and his jersey number was retired in honor of his many accomplishments in the sport.


Jamaican sprinter and world-record sprint holder Usain Bolt, who is widely regarded as one of the fastest sprinters in history, is 6 feet and 5 inches tall. Many regard his height as one of the main factors that give him an edge in sprinting. Indeed, Bolt, who almost never runs out of gas during a competition, is also always a foot taller than the athletes he competes with, which means his stride is longer and wider. He’s been given the nickname “Lightning Bolt” because of the speed with which he frequently leaves the competition in the dust. In 2017, however, his 4-year winning streak ended after he was beaten by Christian Coleman.


Michael Phelps, who is said to be the most decorated Olympian in history, is another athlete who is arguably able to use his size to his advantage. Phelps is a competitive swimmer, after all, and many have argued that his 6-feet-and-4-inch frame is perfect for swimming. Swimming experts have always said that the length of a person’s torso has a positive correlation to how fast he can swim, and Phelps apparently has a torso that is equivalent in length to someone who is 6 feet and 8 inches tall. Not only that, but Phelps has, to his credit, a wingspan of 6 feet and 7 inches—a length that is longer than his height!—which, in a sport where a fraction of a second matter, is definitely helpful for reaching farther.

YAO MING – 7’6″

Chinese-American former basketball player Yao Ming, who is ranked among the best centers in the history of the NBA, is also among the league’s tallest. Yao, much to his credit, is also one of the best-known Asian athletes in history, starting his basketball career in China and later transitioning to the NBA. It is unfortunate that his career in the NBA was cut short due to multiple foot injuries, but while he played for the Houston Rockets, he was one of the biggest forces to reckon with. Indeed, even NBA heavyweights like Shaquille O’Neal said as much and respected the man’s towering presence on the court.

JAN KOLLER – 6’7.5″

Retired Czech football player Jan Koller, who is highly regarded in the sport for both his height and strength on the field, is the all-time leading scorer for the Czech Republic national football team. You can’t call yourself a true-blooded football fan if you have no idea who this guy is, because, to a huge degree, he’s huge in the sport—both literally and figuratively. Indeed, at 6 feet and 7.5 inches tall, he’s nowhere near being the tallest player but is reportedly the best player among the tallest players and one of the best players among all the players in general (if that makes sense).


Russian Olympic long jumper Darya Klishina, who is 5 feet and 11 inches tall, is among the tallest female long jumpers today. She’s been noted in the media for being both extremely good-looking and extremely athletic. The blossoming blonde even had offers to do modeling because of those very characteristics. Her father, who used to be an athlete, influenced her to specialize in long jumping and join the Olympics. And, to her credit, she’s had a moderately successful career as a long jumper, getting the second-best jump in the world in 2010 after achieving a jump of 7.03 meters.


Croatian track and field athlete Blanka Vlasic is a two-time Olympic world champion and is ranked as the second-best female jumper in the history of the sport. She’s another athlete whose height has arguably given her some kind of advantage. Indeed, the woman was able to win 16 international medals in high jumping. The Croatian sensation is apparently very famous in her home country; she has appeared in numerous magazines and is being paid to endorse more than a few brands and products. To her credit, Vlasic said that she has no intention of retiring yet, despite having had numerous injuries in recent years.


Professional beach volleyball player Kerry Walsh Jennings, who is reportedly the most successful beach volleyball player in the world today having already won three Olympic gold medals, is another athlete whose height can only be an advantage for her in her sport. At 6 feet and 3 inches, Jennings has a wingspan longer than most beach volleyball players, which contributes to her ability to reach the ball during the most inopportune moments. Interestingly enough, Jennings said the degree to which she grew in high school, from 5’8″ to 6’ in a span of a year, was nothing short of amazing.


Former rugby player Richard Metcalfe, who is reportedly the tallest rugby player in the history of the sport, also has a scary presence on the field. Rugby, after all, is a contact sport. Picture Richard Metcalfe, who is 7 feet tall and 310 pounds of pure muscle, running towards you, preparing to scoop you up and fling you about, and you’ll have an idea of just how scary this man was to the men standing against him in the field. His size no doubt contributed greatly to his performance as a rugby player. Indeed, to a huge degree, it was all he had going for him, given how avowedly injury-prone he was on the field.