If you look really closely, Paul Sturgess did put a tiny bit of air between his size 20 shoes and the floor before dunking the basketball in a recent Harlem Globetrotters game. Not that he needed to.
Sturgess, with a jersey that reads “Tiny,” is the world’s tallest professional basketball player, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The 7’8″, 325-pound British-born player doesn’t even require a positive vertical leap to dunk a ball in the 10-foot-high hoop. And we aren’t sure how high he even can jump, since we don’t really need to know.
Originally from Loughborough, England, Sturgess played collegiately at Mountain State University in West Virginia. He has taken his show to the Harlem Globetrotters, a touring entertainment team known for such antics.
His recent rim-grabbing YouTube video has turned him into a Globetrotters star. The video shows him dunking the ball somewhat leisurely and then shaking the rim while nearly flat-footed before staring down the faux opponent and marching back on defense.
Sturgess says he came by his height naturally—his father is 6’8″ and his mother is 5’5″ — but he didn’t leave soccer and start playing basketball until he was 14 years old and a paltry 5’6″. We don’t want to know what that last growth spurt was like.