7-foot-9 Teenager Set To Become The Tallest College Basketball Player Ever

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Have you ever thought about what it’s like to view the world from a towering height? 

Being tall certainly has its perks, from easily reaching high shelves and standing out in a crowd. But let’s be honest. It also has downsides, like needing help finding proper clothes and navigating through doorways.

This reminds me of an interesting story I read about the tallest teenager in the world. 

Meet Olivier Rioux, an 18-year-old basketball star from Montreal who has gained popularity for his extraordinary height. When he was only 15, he was awarded the Guinness World Record for being the tallest teenager, standing 7 feet 5 inches tall.

Image Credit: Casey Brooke Lawson via IMG Academy

Olivier recently graduated from high school and will play for the University of Florida’s men’s basketball team. He stands 7 feet 9 inches tall and wears a shoe size 20, possibly making him the tallest college basketball player ever. 

Now, you might wonder, “How can Olivier Rioux be so tall?”

Rioux’s great height is due to a growth spurt, which boys typically experience between 12 and 16, with the average age around 14. During this period, they typically rapidly increase in height and weight as their bodies mature.

Image Credit: LSFL/Splash News for The US Sun

Olivier was also filmed in November 2023 by Ballislife.com and was 7 feet 6 inches tall then.

Imagine how fast it was! A three-inch growth in seven months is remarkable. 

However, Olivier said on the Guinness Book of World Records website that his height probably comes from his very tall parents.

According to Guinness, his dad is 6 feet 8 inches, and his mom is 6 feet 2 inches. He also mentioned that his older brother is 6 feet 9 inches.

Image Credit: USA TODAY Network

Rioux also has been tall since a very young age. His Florida profile indicates that he was 6 feet 1 inch at eight years old and reached 6 feet 11 inches by the time he was in sixth grade, around four years later. Then, he had reached 7 feet by the start of seventh grade.

“I was always taller than the rest of my friends at school or teammates,” he said. “This is what nature planned for me. I learned to be peaceful and happy about it.”

Here’s a picture of how tall Olivier is next to someone of average height.

Image Credit: Chuck Swirsky

According to GatorsWire, Rioux isn’t expected to achieve much as a freshman as he’s seen as a “developmental project.” 

In basketball, a developmental project usually means a player who isn’t fully developed in terms of skill, physical attributes, or experience but has the potential to improve with the right coaching and training. 

Teams see these players as long-term investments, as they may need time and resources to reach their full potential. Teams take on developmental projects, hoping these players will eventually become valuable contributors to the team’s success.

Image Credit: Hrvoje Jelavic/Sipa USA/AP

Experts say that if a 16-year-old who is 7-foot-5 grew four inches in two years, then anything can happen.

At 18, he might still be growing. Rioux’s listed height surpasses former record holder Paul Sturgess, who was 7’8″ and played for Florida Tech and Mountain State from 2007 to 2011. If Rioux makes it to the NBA, he will be the tallest NBA player ever.

Yet, even at his great height, Rioux isn’t the tallest man in the world. That title belongs to Sultan Kösen, a Turkish farmer who stands almost 8’3″.

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