Does Playing Basketball Make You Grow Taller? The Truth!

Does Playing Basketball Make You Grow Taller?

Key takeaway: Playing basketball does not make you grow taller; genetic factors primarily determine height. While basketball can enhance physical fitness through continuous movement, factors like sleep, diet, exercise, and genetics play more significant roles in height growth.

While watching a basketball game, you notice that almost all players inside the basketball court are tall. These tall players can easily dunk the ball, have great athleticism, and they can block the ball with ease. But, have you ever thought about why basketball players are tall? Do you think they are huge because of their genes or because they play too much basketball?

Having a tall height gives you many advantages in basketball. Most people said in my country that if you aren’t tall enough, don’t play basketball because basketball is a sport that requires a tall height. However, some basketball players are on the average height that can still outplay other tall players on the court. You will also notice that most tall basketball players are clumsy. 

There are some myths that people are talking about basketball. Some said that playing basketball can make you grow taller. However, in the past few years since basketball was invented, there is no strong evidence that shows that playing basketball can make a human taller. 

But how about now? Do you think science has already proven this myth? Today, we are going to take in-depth learning about this myth. We are going to tell the truth, as we always do, because we don’t want to give you high hopes.

We also wanted you to be true to yourself, which means that if you only play basketball to grow taller, then maybe it is time for you to find another sport. I want to suggest that players who play basketball must play basketball because they love to, not because there is something they could get from it that is why they are playing it. 

But first, before we go deeper, let me give you a concise answer:

Does playing basketball make you grow taller? No! Playing basketball will never make you grow taller. Even though you play other sports, playing that certain sport will never make you grow taller. Genetics is the one that will dictate how tall you are going to be.

Is There Science Evidence That Says Playing Basketball Makes You Taller?

The average height of an NBA player is 6’0 and you can be a point guard if you have that height. However, different positions in basketball have different average heights, which means that certain positions require being taller than 6’0.

To make it quick and to give you a concise answer, I will tell you right now that no scientific evidence shows that playing basketball can make you grow tall. But, some research concludes that continuous movements of bodies can help you to grow tall because continuous movements boost blood flow to the spine and legs, which are responsible for height increase. 

Many fans assume that NBA players are tall because they play basketball too much. They speculate some conclusions without any evidence because of only what they saw on the television. NBA players are tall probably because of their genes and because of their diet routine. 

People think that tall people are the only ones that have a high chance to play basketball. Yes, tall players might indeed have some advantages over smaller basketball players. But the truth is, there are many advantages to being small inside the basketball court. There are also memorable small NBA players who play in the league and outplayed other NBA players. 

In my personal experience, I think that it is true that being small inside the basketball court has many advantages. My height is only 5’6 but I can still outplay other players because I focus on improving my shooting and handling. In my country, there is a low percentage of tall people here. Most people that play basketball here have an average height of 5’6. They use their athleticism, speed, and agility to perform better inside the court. 

According to science, playing basketball can help to add inches to your height due to continuous movements and jumping during basketball games. But don’t rely on this fully because your genes are most responsible for your height. Playing basketball can help to add a few inches, but it is not the dominant source of your height growth. However, there are certain things that you can do, which have more scientific evidence that can help you to grow taller.

Certain Ways You Can To Help You Grow Taller 

There are some possible ways that you can help you to grow taller. These are the things that you probably heard already, but still, I listed them below to keep your mind refreshed. 

Get Enough Sleep 

It is known by all people around the globe that getting enough sleep has many health benefits for your body. According to science, getting a proper night’s sleep helps your human growth hormone, and it is more effective for kids and teenagers. 

In my experience, I don’t get enough sleep at night because of insomnia. Probably I could still grow a little bit more if I got enough sleep during my teenage years. However, that is done, and I have nothing to do with it today anymore. That is why I focus on other skills that I can improve to help me become a better basketball player. Let me give you some tips on when is the right time to sleep and how to sleep earlier.

To sleep early at night, make sure to be on your bed between 8-9 pm. Thirty minutes before you lie down on your bed, you should already be asleep. To make it possible, make sure to close the lights because lights attract your eyes and brain causing you to be awake and sleep harder. Make sure to get at least 8-9 hours of sleep every night.

Eat A Healthy Diet

Putting lots of junk inside your body can have a side effect on your body. It can have a bad effect on your human growth hormone, and it can give you severe illnesses like cancer. 

Make sure to cut out junk foods and preservatives, and have a healthy bowl of vegetable salad instead. Eat also lots of rich protein foods like fish, pork, and chicken. I also suggest drinking fresh healthy milk every morning and every night before you sleep. 

Check some of the healthy foods that you should eat before basketball game here.

Exercise Often

As I have said above, continuous movements and good stretching can give health benefits to your muscles. Playing basketball helps to strengthen and stretch your bones, which can help you to grow a few inches on your height. 

Make sure to exercise every day and be consistent. You will be surprised at the outcome of your efforts.


Sadly, we have no control over our genetics. However, certain things you can do that are listed above can help you to reach your full potential height. 

There are products that you can see on the internet or in the market that can help you to grow taller. I do not suggest these products because it is expensive and it can harm your body because of some side effects. Never do surgeries as well! It is also expensive and dangerous that it can destroy your natural body. 

What Is Growth Spurt?

A growth spurt is an intense and fast increase in the growth of the height of an adolescent. Growth spurt happens during puberty and teenage years. 

Many NBA players are small during their high school but got a monstrous growth spurt after they finished high school. Some NBA player’s growth spurt is already done after they enter the league, but some are still growing after getting drafted. Like Giannis Antetokounmpo, he was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks when he was 19 and has a height of 6’9 but he is now a 7 footer today. 

Growth spurt might be late for other people, and if it hits you so hard then you are lucky. 

Below are different NBA players who had a monstrous growth spurt:

  • CJ Mccolum was only 5’2 in his junior year and grew until 6’4 in his senior year
  • David Robinson was only 5’9 in his junior year and grew until 7’1 when he reached the NBA
  • Dennis Rodman was 5’8 during his junior year and grew 8 inches over the course of some months
  • Scottie Pippen was 6’1 before and grew 7 inches after high school to make it to the NBA
  • Dwight Howard was a point guard during his high school but then grew many inches and now a center in the NBA
  • Tim Duncan was 6’3 and grew up to 6’11 and was considered as a late bloomer
  • Russell Westbrook was 5’10 before he grew up to 6’3 in his senior year. He grew exactly 5 inches and managed to enter the NBA

There are other NBA players for sure who grew taller after their high school basketball career. But these players listed above are the players who are gifted with skill, and got a miracle for their height. 

What Age Do We Stop Growing?

Puberty starts at the age of 13, and during puberty, our growth in height is increasing fast. Puberty stops after 2-5 years for a teenager. Boys usually stop growing between the age of 16-20, but in most cases, boys stop growing at 16 and are fully developed at 18. 

However, as we talked about above, some people grow later than usual.

Myths About Our Height

Drink Some Pills

Most growth pills companies promote their products to make money and not to give the consumer what they promised. The growth pill is one of the dumbest myths I have ever heard. If there is a pill for growing, then all people around the globe should be tall. If there is one pill that you need to take, that is the truth pill. 

Shoe Insoles

Some claim that if you have one of these things you will look taller and will help to increase your height. However, this thing is another myth. 

Drinking Coffee Will Help You Grow Tall

Drinking coffee will not help you to grow taller. NOT AT ALL! This is the other myth that most people make you believe. Intaking too much caffeine is dangerous for all human beings, especially for kids. 

Weight Lifting Makes You Shorter

Probably most of you have experienced scolding by your parents to stay away from the gym because it might stop you from growing. Yes, lifting might be dangerous if it’s not executed properly. However, there is no scientific evidence that shows that lifting will make you shorter or stop your growth spurt.

Shortest NBA Players 

For those short people out there reading this article, let me give you some motivation by showing you different NBA players who didn’t let their height destroy their dream. 

Mugsy Bogues

Mugsy Bogues is the shortest NBA player of all time. His height was 5’3 only and played as a point guard for four various NBA teams. Bouges had an amazing 14-year career in the NBA, and he is now a coach. 

Spud Webb

Spud Webb is the other shortest NBA player in history. His height is 5’7 only. Despite his short height, Spud Webb managed to win the Slam Dunk contest. He is currently the president of basketball operations for the Texas Legends. 

Earl Boykins

Earl Antoine Boykins was an NBA player with a height of 5’5 and considered the second shortest NBA player behind Mugsy Bouges. He had an impressive career despite having a short height. Earl Boykins is now pursuing the coaching career that he wanted. 

To check all the other short NBA players, go through this link.

Final Verdict

Do not rely on playing basketball to make you grow taller. Playing basketball might help you to add a few inches to your height, but it is not the dominant source of your height. Focus on getting healthy sleep and eating healthy foods instead. 

Even though you did all the things that will make you grow tall, and the outcome was small, never get discouraged. Just look at how the short NBA players managed to get into the big league. Focus on more important things that you can improve. Change the thing that you can control, and accept the things that you can’t change because you have no control. 

Do you think this basketball myth is true? If yes, share with us your experience in the comments section below!

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