The Tallest Basketball Player that couldn’t Make it to the NBA

Rush Hour 3

It would have been nice to see him play in the NBA

The hands of Sun Ming Ming are gigantic. He uses it to catch a basketball, similar to how a baseball player would use a mitt. They have the shooting guard’s touch and the dexterity to make one 20-foot jumper after another. Sun initially had little interest in basketball, but at the age of 15, his height of 7’0″ pushed him to take up the game. However, as his passion for the sport developed, Mingming became more determined to play in the NBA.

But the reason for his enormous size isn’t exactly a gift from god it’s actually a pituitary tumor and the condition is known as Acromegaly. Unfortunately, Sun’s brain tumor, which contributed to his rapid growth even in his later years, was only identified in his 20s. It explains why Sun is not only so tall, but also why his 50-inch waist and 387-pound weight put a great deal of strain on his joints. He is lacking in strength, endurance, and speed since the tumor restricts the production of testosterone.

“In China, I would get tired running,” Sun said. “I didn’t know until I came here that I have a tumor.”

Sun’s body produced low levels of testosterone and high quantities of growth hormones as a result of the acromegaly, which prevented him from developing the strength or athleticism necessary to play in the NBA. The situation required immediate medical attention, but Sun didn’t have the funds because of his childhood in poverty.

His NBA Start was Painful

“When he first came here, he acted like a 60-year-old man,” said Rocky Manning, who allowed Sun to stay with his family when he moved from China to the United States nearly two years ago. “He sat around and didn’t say much. He had a hard time just raising his arm above his head. If he would hold onto the net it would hurt. He hated dunking the ball.”

Doctors Helped Sun Become a BasketBall Player

Fortunately, his agent would set up a very effective fundraiser and raise the money required to pay for the procedure. After the two procedures went smoothly, Sun was prepared to carry on with his basketball career. Ming attended Ventura Community College before hopping around a few minor league USA clubs before moving to play in Mexico, Japan, and China. The NBA was a bit too lofty a dream for him.

Mingming played a little role in the two titles the Beijing Ducks won with Stephon Marbury, although he spent the majority of his career there. Even though Sun wasn’t the most gifted player, his height made him fascinating to watch.

Sun Mingming eventually retired in 2014 at the age of 31. That was still quite good given the amount of height and weight he was carrying. Sun Mingming never achieved his size-induced stardom as an NBA player, but at least he stayed healthy and participated in the sport he loved.





Elijah Brown
6'4 Former High School Basketball Player. Love the gym Sand and Beaches is where you find me in my free time! BLM!

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