Does basketball make you taller?

Can basketball make someone taller? Research reveals that there is a significant correlation between basketball and height. Although it’s not certain as genetics plays a major role in how tall you will be. Some evidence suggests that playing the game of basketball due to its movements of the game may help increase height.

In this post, we’ll find out if there are any real evidence that playing basketball is a factor in making players taller.

Is there any real evidence that proves playing basketball makes someone taller?

The average height of an NBA player is 6’7. That’s 10 inches taller than the average height of an American male. There are a few research that claims playing basketball makes someone taller. However, while sports may somehow contribute to the growth of an individual, genes is really the factor to maximize the growth potential of a player or any individual.

Furthermore, there’s a research that shows that the act of continuous jumping sends signals to the brain activites growth hormone. Also, it boosts blood flow to the spine and legs which then stimulates growth palates which are responsible for the increase in height.

Science suggests that playing basketball can add inches to your height due to the anaerobic movements and jumping during a game of basketball. It allows the pituitary gland to release more growth hormones into the body causing it to grow.

 There are couple of scientific theories that they want to show to prove their claiming.

  1. They claim that continuous jumping with basketball means electric flow of body current to brain increases. As a result, growth hormones are stimulated which leads to increasing the height of an individual.
    There are growth palates in our spine and legs. So, when you are landing on the ground after throwing your body in the air, blood flow to these growth palates is increases greatly. So, height is increased too
  1. People also believe if HGH hormone level is greatly found in our body, there is a possibility of height increasing. And by playing basketball, HGH level is affected too.
    There are also people who think that height gene can be stimulated by continuous training sessions.

    Aren’t all of these sounding like asking someone whether owning a private jet will make him rich or not?

Let’s try to clear a couple of things here:

a. These NBA guys are surely not tall because they just play basketball. You can’t grow taller by playing basketball.

Lamarck’s theory is not gonna work here.
If that was the case, all short height guys in the world would have started to play basketball leaving everything else. The genetic structure of an individual is a determinant factor to increase the height and shape, not basketball!

b. How can you say this to yourself that you shall be able to grow in stature by just practicing shooting on the hoops? It is scientifically proved that genetic factors determine 60-80% height differences between individuals. The remaining percentage goes to the environment, nutrition etc.

c. Well, the basketball game is open for all. Anyone can take part in this beautiful game. You do not require to be that tall in height to participate on this.

And yeah you watch NBA sports in TV or live, you shall find mostly tall lanky guys on the court. Because tall people are really made to play on basketball court. They bring the X factor to the team’s cause

They can get to shoot at anytime anyplace. When it comes to dunk, rebound and defense this is where they are bringing their height advantage come into play incredibly well. So, chance of those tall guys becoming NBA superstars in future is really high

On the contrary, short basketball players find a bit tough out there to pass through all the barriers and are less seen as professionals than tall people. But that does not mean shorter guys can’t get success on this profession.

A lot of tall people are not good at basketball. Numbers of small size players have come handy too. Being tall is just an extra advantage while playing basketball, nothing more than this.

d. Small short player must have unique talents like shooting, passing the ball to your mates or solid defense. whether you are short or tall, the way of playing and style must work to your advantage. for example: Kelly Olynyk and Isaiah Thomas. They are 7 feet and 6’6” respectively.

e. People argue a lot saying the exercise increases your height. But there is no evidence. Yeah exercise stimulates growth hormones but in turn it hardly affects in the exercised areas of your body

Even there is a study done over 2 group of people. One group has done only bicep curls and other one leg extensions followed by bicep curls. Though the leg extension group has twice the amount of growth hormones but does not have the better success.

We are saying, it just won’t make you grow taller. But that does not mean you should give up doing exercise. Your genes and proper maintaining of nutrition level shall determine your height.

What can be improved by playing basketball  except the height?

1.  Jump

jump

Play basketball regularly and improve your ability to jump. Improving jumping abilities can help strengthen leg muscles. Any weight exercises that target leg muscles will help reach maximum height. More than maximizing height potential, it can even improve your dunk abilities and help you get more shots during the game.

2.  Speed ability

Speed ability

Speed workouts are the best way to improve reaction time of the players on the court or any athletes. Most ball players are known for speed, quickness, coordination and the ability to quickly change directions.

3.  Hand eye co-ordination

Hand eye co-ordination

Basketball is an excellent sport for someone who wants to improve his hand-eye coordination. Basketball forces you to use hand-eye coordination to catch, pass and shoot the ball while being guarded by someone who is trying to keep you from doing all three.

NBA players that went through growth spurts during high school

Portland Trail Blazers, C.J. McCollum – was only 5’2 in his Junior year, he later grew to 6’4 by his senior year.

San Antonio Spurs, David Robinson – 5’9 his Junior Year, reached the NBA at 7’1.

Chicago Bulls, Dennis Rodman – 5’8 grew 12 inches during his junior and senior years of high school. I had read somewhere he grew 8 inches over the course of a few months leading up to his senior year.

Chicago Bulls, Scottie Pippen – 6’1 to 6’8 grew 7 inches after High School to increase his stock to make it to the NBA.

Orlando Magic, Dwight Howard – Who is now with the Wizards grew a foot in one year and was actually a point guard to start his career in High School.

San Antonio Spurs, Tim Duncan – 6’3 to 6’11, he was considered a late bloomer growing 8 inches in one year and getting a scholarship with Wake forest his senior year.

Oklahoma City Thunder, Russell Westbrook – 5’10 to 6’3 his senior year growing an extra 5 inches before his senior year.

Some of these players above may have grown taller even during there college days. The Greek Freak Giannis Antetokounmpo from the Milwaukee Bucks is said to have still been growing as he was only 20 years old when he entered the NBA. Giannis is now 6’11 and entered the NBA reportedly at 6’10.

Myths On Growing Taller

Here are some of the most popular myths about growing taller.

Hanging From A Bar

Michael Jordan claimed that he hung from a bar for as long as he could many times a day because he wanted to grow taller. Jordan managed to grow to 6’6 tall. No research proves that this actually helps.

Drinking Milk

Drinking Milk

Drinking milk can make you grow taller. Many people believe this because milk strengthens the bones and the growth plates are in the bones. Milk promotes healthy strong bones, no wonder the misconceptions.

Magical Pills or Serum
If there was a magical pill, many shorties would be taking it. There have been research that claims some serums can help improve height. However, you must take it for at least 1 year before you see any noticeable height gains. Plus, they’re pretty expensive.

Shoe Insoles

These things claim if you wear them they will increase your height, because of the pressure points the insole has that work on your feet. What do you think?

Final thoughts: Does basketball make you taller?

At last what I can say, this is unlikely that NBA players are tall because they play the basketball. Infact, it should be the other way around that, they are playing basketball because they are tall.

Do you think there’s some truth that basketball makes you taller? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Aaron Jones

Aaron Jones

My name is Aaron and I am the owner of Make Shots. On this site, I discuss the most frequently asked basketball questions and give my opinions. My love for basketball started in 2010 and ever since I have fallen in love with the sport.
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