Suleiman Ali Nashnush: The Tallest Basketball Player


Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Spending large portions of my life in the Basketball world I sometimes forget that at 6ft3 many people consider me extremely tall. I always laugh it off, almost embarrassed – my height barely registers when I’m on a Basketball court. I’ve played with and against a few 7 footers, but I’ve never even seen let alone played with someone breaking the 8-foot mark!

Suleiman ali Nashnush was a Libyan who was born in 1943 and died at the age of 48, in 1991. He was known for 3 things. Playing Professional Basketball, Acting and being one of less than 20 humans measured at over 8 feet tall. In 1960 he had an operation to correct his abnormal growth. This appeared to be successful and he would shortly after reach his maximum height of 8 foot and 1 half inches, 245cms. He is regarded as the tallest person ever to play professional or international Basketball.

If you thought Bol Bol was the tallest Basketball player ever, read on for some more information about Suleiman ali Nashnush and why you may have never heard of him.

Basketball Career

Sadly there is no footage of Suleiman ali Nashnush playing Basketball. He played for the Libyan national team in his early 20’s. On EuroBasket.com he is listed as having played for the Libyan National Team at a height of 245cm and a weight of 290lbs. His position is obviously listed as centre. There is now detailed information about his stats or whether he was any good.

It is likely that his inclusion on the Libyan team was mainly a PR stunt. Although I’m sure at the least he provided some much needed rim protection.

In the video below you can see him standing with some “regular” sized men.

This video seems to be taken when he was young, before his surgery in 1960 and before he reached his maximum height.

Acting Career

He also holds the title of tallest Actor ever (sorry Wilt). He had a small role in director Federico Fellini’s film “Fellini Satyricon”, released in 1969. It is set in Nero era Roma and based on the writing of Petronius from the time. Nashnush played Tryphaena’s attendant and was uncredited for the role.

Where does he rank?

Suleiman ali Nashnush holds the title of tallest actor ever, tallest basketball player ever He is listed as the 11th Tallest person of all time. He is the 10th tallest man, being pushed down a spot by the tallest woman ever. Zeng Jinlian- 8ft2 248.5 cm was born in June 1964 and is the tallest female human ever recorded.

In the sporting world we can see below – he is in rarefied company.

PersonHeightNationality SportBorn
Suleiman Ali
Nashnush
246 cm
(8 ft 1 in)
LibyaBasketball1943-1991
Morteza Mehrzad 246 cm
(8 ft 1 in)
IranParalympian
and
Volleyball
1987 –
Gogea Mitu 242 cm
(7 ft 11 in)
RomaniaBoxer1914-1936
Sun Mingming 236 cm (7 ft 9 in) China Basketball1983
Édouard Beaupré 233 cm (7 ft 8 in) CanadaWrestler1881-1904
Manute Bol 231 cm (7 ft 7 in) SudanBasketball (NBA)1962-2010
Gheorghe Mureșan 231 cm (7 ft 7 in) Romania Basketball
(NBA)
1971-
Jorge González 231 cm (7 ft 7 in) Argentina WWE Wrestler1966-2010
Kristaps Porziņģis 221 cm (7 ft 3 in) Latvia Basketball
(NBA)
1995-
Boban Marjanović 221 cm (7 ft 3 in Serbia Basketball
(NBA)
1988–
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Louis

I fell in love with Basketball when I was about 9 years old. Since then I have played on, coached and organised many teams. I've followed the NBA ever since. With no home team I've always rooted for teams and players I like the style of. The last 2 decades that's meant Greg Popoviches Spurs for the most part. My favourite NBA podcasts are The Lowe Post, Open Floor and The Ringers "The Mismatch".

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