Well, this is the question asked by many people whether physical games like basketball make you taller or not. The answer is not simple, but I put it this way: You should not entirely depend on any physical exercise or game to become taller. Some other internal and external factors also play an essential part in your physical growth.
But wait! Did I tell you there are still chances you might get taller by playing basketball? Yeah! You read it right! And if you want to know how can basketball makes you taller, you can continue reading to find that out.
Does Basketball Make You Taller?
Remember your parents or coach told you as a kid to play basketball to be taller than your homies? Or ever heard the myth that basketball players are taller because they have played basketball since childhood? Well, that’s not entirely correct or false.
In fact, no scientific study could 100% support the idea of getting tall by playing basketball. Yet a few researchers say you can increase your height by exercising or playing games like basketball and volleyball.
Some other factors influence your growth, and the important one is your genetic makeup. And then comes your diet and sleeping routine, plus your environment. Let’s discuss these points in detail to get more insight.
Every human has a unique genetic pattern transferred from their parents. This genetic blueprint decides whether you will be white or dark, thin or thick, tall or short, and the list continues. It is essential to realize that your genes predetermine your maximum height.
Yet Lamarck’s evolution theories propose that you can be slightly different from your ancestors. To support that theory, people usually quote the spurting growth of some basketball players. For example, Micheal Jordan, who grew up to 6.6’’, even crossed his father and mother’s height of 5.9’’ and 5.6’’ respectively.
Suppose Lamarckism is true, but what happened to other basketball players who have played basketball since childhood but did not grow more than 6 feet? This suggests some scenarios where playing basketball can add extra inches to your height, but your genetic code will still be 75% predetermine your maximum height.
Nobody can assure you that basketball can make you tall, but one thing is sure. You can not reach your maximum height potential if you do not eat well during childhood and puberty. Perhaps you might lose some inches instead.
Boys reach their maximum height in their late teens, and girls get there around mid-teens. Lack of proteins and minerals, especially vitamin A and D that influence growth, can stunt growth. Food enriched with these essential vitamins and proteins can enhance your chances of getting tall.
Science proved that if you are not getting proper sleep, you will disturb your body’s functioning. Along with other dysfunction, it will also affect the release of HGH. HGH is the Human Growth Hormone that releases during sleep. If a person is suffering from sleep deprivation, this will affect the release of HGH. And eventually, seize your growth before the time.
So it might be your mom is saying right in this case to get proper sleep. A good amount of sleep will also give you more energy and better concentration while playing basketball.
Did you notice why Asian people are shorter than white people? Is it just a coincidence, or does nature has a soft heart for Europeans? Well, in both cases, Asian suffers from the shorter length.
What science says here is that environment has an impact on human height. People born in wealthy families with stress-free environments can be taller than those who live in slums under more social stress.
During a Chinese survey, it was observed that altitude could also impact your height. People living at higher altitudes in China reached 10 cm taller in the last 100 years, and vice versa. So if you are an American, you have a high chance of getting tall and even higher if your mom and dad are African.
Can Basketball Make You Taller?
Yet the question remains unanswered “Can Basketball Make You Taller?”
Yes, it can but in certain circumstances. Specific hormones release at a particular age influence your height immensely. Three significant hormones affect your growth directly and indirectly. But the major one among them is HGH (Human Growth Hormone).
During sleep or at lower blood sugar levels, your body stimulates the pituitary gland to release HGH. the fluency of this hormone is maximum at earlier stages of growth, i.e., in teenage and puberty.
HGH then causes the growth plates in the bones to increase in length. These growth plates enlarge till a certain age and then start to ripen up when they grow up to the highest of their potential. It is when our height stops increasing.
How Basketball Players Increase Their Height?
Every basketball player starts training early, stimulating more HGH production. Playing basketball increases the blood flow, which causes more HGH to travel toward growth plates. Another vital hormone assisting HGH is the thyroid hormone. If a person lacks thyroid hormone or has low production, the baby will be small compared to normal thyroid hormone-producing babies. Besides, the lack of thyroid secretion also causes brain damage if it remains untreated for a long time.
Since we have established the significant reasons to become taller like basketballs, we can say that basketball does not make you taller directly but indirectly. A proper diet and basketball training from an early age can benefit you and add a few inches to your predetermined height.
Can Short People Play Basketball?
If your genetics ditch you, and somehow you could not have the ideal 6 feet height but still loves basketball. You must often think of “Can Short People Play Basketball?”
Well, I say yes!! And even you would have seen some great NBA players who were not huge but still became legends. Muggsy Bogues was the shortest basketball player of 5.3’’ in basketball history. Yet his height did not stop him from playing basketball.
Height does not define how much of a great or lousy player you are. It’s always your skills and techniques that make you great. If you are short, just focus on your skills, polish them, practice regularly, and watch great players’ games to improve yours.
Best Position For Short Height Players:
The perfect position for a short-height player is either point guard or shooting guard. Why? Because short people can dribble basketball fast and pass it quickly. Point guards are the basketball handlers, and shooting guards throw the ball from outside the court. Remember Muggsy Bogues? He played as a point guard on every team till his last game. If you are short, you should mainly focus on your dribbling and passing skills. That will lead you further in your game.
Until now, we have established that basketball does not increase your height, but also other factors impact your growth. Yet basketball can indirectly helps in adding a few inches to your size.
Besides, basketball can positively impact your health and physique. You can stay healthy by playing basketball even if you do not want to pursue it as your career. The best thing about this beautiful game is that anybody can enjoy it.