It is normal to see tall men and women take up the sport professionally as their increased height gives them the upper hand when it comes to reaching the basketball goal and defending the ball while on the court against opponents. However, the question inevitably arises, is there a link between tallness and practicing basketball professionally or even as a pastime?
Children and teens who are shorter in stature than expected or than they would like to tend to take up this sport, evidently encouraged by their parents, hoping for a considerable difference to be seen after a while. But is there actual proof to sustain the idea that basketball helps in height development?
HGH and basketball – The link you probably weren’t aware of
What is HGH?
HGH, which is short for human growth hormone, is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland which spurs growth in children and teens. You can benefit from it under a synthetic form as well as it is the active ingredient in quite a few prescription drugs. Thus, those who have trouble with height growth can even succumb to taking supplements if they deem necessary.
HGH secretion and basketball
Human growth hormone increases in secretion as you practice this sport as the activities involved with it encourage the process. When practiced right, preferably under adult or professional supervision, and routinely, basketball, through its shoots, rebounds, jumps, and running, indeed increases HGH production.
- Dribbling the ball – Even though you might be tempted to use your dominating hand when dribbling, if you want a spur in HGH secretion which results in height increase, you should dribble with both hands as, when these members are used proportionally, equal stretching and thus a harmonious growth is promoted.
- Shooting the ball – When you shoot the ball, you use the fingers and wrist of the dominating hand, while the other hand serves as a support for the ball’s position. The dominant arm is fully stretched for the ball release, and thus height increase occurs.
- Collecting rebounds – When you collect a rebound, you must jump, which is beneficial for the growth of your body. Seeing how rebounding is one of the most important and commonly performed factors in the game, you will have contact with the movement quite often.
- Running – Whether you are doing it with the ball or without it, running is what playing the sport mostly consists of. One of the main stimulants of HGH production is running, so it is easy to make the connection here.
- Dunking – When you plant the ball in the basket instead of throwing it from a distance, you jump at a really big height. Consistent jumping to practice dunking so that you can reach your target helps in your quest to be taller, and you should practice this move as much as possible as it even increases your stamina.
Are there any dangers to practicing the sport?
Now that you know there is indeed a link between height increase and this sport, most likely your first instinct is to go to the nearest court and play a few rounds with friends or play at home with your loved ones in the backyard where you placed your portable basketball hoop. But before you head do so, you first have to take into consideration the downsides this sport comes with if you are not careful when playing it or do any abuse.
How and when it could become dangerous:
- Forceful bodily collisions with players which result in injuries.
- Collisions with the portable hoop or other equipment.
- Knee and ankle injuries which result from excess pressure on the joints.
- Tear in the Achilles tendon.
- Pain in the rotator cuff muscles.
How to avoid hazards:
- Always warm up before you play to stretch your muscles.
- When you play with others, whether it is casually or competitively, make sure you follow the rules to avoid instances where you might bump into each other hard.
- Stop playing immediately when you start to feel tired or stressed to avoid putting too much pressure on your body.
- Sleep and eat right as you are less likely to injure yourself if your body is functioning properly.
- Try to keep a proper weight for your height as, otherwise, you put too much pressure on your joints, especially when you jump towards the hoop.
- Wear protective gear, and make sure your attire is appropriate for playing this sport. This is especially important when it comes to the shoes you wear as a proper design of the outsole prevents joint pressure.
Average heights of NBA players
A quite definitive piece of proof that basketball does indeed help with height growth is provided by statistics regarding the heights of professional players who have taken up the sports from a young age. Sure, not all of them are incredibly tall as there are a few exceptions, the sole fact that the average which prevailed after a 2007-2008 survey which indicated an average height of 6’ 6.98” more than proves that it is more likely to notice a spur in height development as a result of taking up the sport in a serious manner.
- The tallest pro player right now: Boban Marjanovic, who previously played for the San Antonio Spurs and Detroit Pistons, and is now playing for the Los Angeles Clippers, and measures an impressive 7’ 3.5” in height.
- The tallest pro player in history: Gheorghe Muresan, who played for the Washington Bullets and the New Jersey Nets until retiring from the sport in 2000, and measured 7’ 7” in height.
Other sports can that help you grow taller
- Swimming: A sport that doesn’t only help with height increase but promotes a healthy and beautiful body shape, swimming is ideal for children to take up at a young age for their development to go as smoothly as possible. When practicing this sport, you use the muscles in your chest, legs, and arms the most, and as you struggle in the water you stretch and increase in flexibility, which increases the length of the spine over time and helps with the expansion of the chest and shoulders.
- Volleyball: This sport involved jumping and stretching of the legs, body, and hands, stimulating growth plates. What adds to the popularity of volleyball is the fact that it helps to relax the joints and bones, so it provides a safe manner to boost growth.
Soccer: As it involves a good amount of running, soccer not only helps build strong, healthy muscles in the legs, but it helps in growth boost as the bones and cartilages of the legs are stretched. Evidently, as any activity where you run a lot, it aids in weight loss where necessary or preserving a harmonious and fit body in individuals who are already healthily slim.