If there is anything in the world that will grab your attention, it is someone who is abnormally tall. We automatically want to see them perform an array of different task. That is probably one of the reasons why we love watching gigantic athletes. Whether they really tall, really round or just extremely muscle bounds there speed and advantages can put us in a state of shock. Today we’re going to give you guys a run down on some of the most gigantic athletes to ever hit the court, field, course and ring. Prepare to be blown away.
Andre The Giant
When it comes to large athletes, you can’t even start the conversation without mentioning Andre the Giant. Sure, professional wrestlers aren’t strictly competing with one another, but they perform exhibitions of coordinated effort and skill just as figure skaters or gymnasts do.
Consider the photo below: Hulk Hogan was 6’7″ and about 300 pounds. That already is pretty big when you think about it. Yet when he stands next to Andre, the giant towers over him! I’m sure Hulk Hogan wasn’t used to that.
Large athletes are particularly scary when they’re trying to beat you up, so Nikolai Valuev is a very menacing sight. The 7′ tall, 328-lb. boxer really stretched the meaning of the word “heavyweight” while compiling 50 wins as a professional.
Even beside the fear of being hit by such a man, consider trying to hurt him! You have to pretty much jump to even punch his head, and his body is so thick that your punches are unlikely to do any damage. Yikes.
Hong Man Choi
Nicknamed the “Techno Goliath,” Hong Man Choi wasn’t particularly successful as a mixed martial arts fighter but was still quite notable for his ridiculous size at 7’2″, 352 lbs. Anyone would be really scared to have to go up against this guy.
He famously put a whoopin’ on former baseball star Jose Canseco and earned a few other wins, but was beaten quickly when he faced top talent, despite his considerable size advantage. He just didn’t have the speed to live up to the height.
It’s a different era now than it was when Arnold Schwarzenegger ruled the bodybuilding world, and whether you like the uh, “synthetic” look of today’s super-jacked bodybuilders or not, you have to gawk in awe at Ronnie Coleman’s physique at 5’11”, 300 pounds.
Arnold was much lighter than that as a several-time Mr. Olympia and he was 6’2″! You definitely don’t want to get on this guy’s bad side. I don’t think a train can knock this guy to the ground, let alone another living and breathing human.
Hockey, now there’s a sport. Imagine a sport where you can get in a fistfight with an opponent and your punishment is just to sit in a box for a few minutes! Well, you wouldn’t want to fight Zdeno Chara, who was 6’9″ and could punch downward at opponents in fights.
He had skills, too, winning the hardest slapshot challenge at five straight All-Star games from 2007 to 2012. Imagine this guy skating towards you. Hockey is known for fights and this definitely one guy you don’t want going after you on the ice.
Many of our large athletes so far have been tall, but Mariusz Pudzianowski is a different case. He’s 6’1″, which is not a big deal, but he’s also 300 pounds of solid muscle. He could probably punch down a brick wall if he wanted.
The former five-time winner of World’s Strongest Man competitions has since moved on to mixed martial arts, where he hasn’t reached an elite level but has still compiled a respectable 12-4 record. He definitely is an impressive athlete.
When Yao Ming was selected with the first overall pick by the Houston Rockets, he was meant to change the league forever. There had been other centers who were 7’6″ or taller, but he had skills that were much more well refined than the likes of Shawn Bradley, Gheorghe Muresan or Manute Bol.
He made five All-NBA teams and was an eight-time All-Star, but unfortunately was hampered by ankle and foot injuries during the later part of his career. This picture is pretty insane to look at. Looks like the little guy is in some sort of war.
William “The Refrigerator” Perry
William Perry was an NFL player so big that they nicknamed him “The Refrigerator.” And it wasn’t just his 335 pounds that made him big, but also his personality. This guy could easily power through an array of football players.
The Fridge came to personify the swagger, personality, and skills of the legendary 1985 Chicago Bears, but even on that championship team, he stood out. While the average man’s ring size is a 9 or 10, his Super Bowl ring had to be size 25 to fit him!
Eric “Butterbean” Esch
While Butterbean may not have won any prestigious titles during his many appearances in the squared circle, he’s still a well-known, beloved, and dangerous fighter. He has knocked out many men during his long career.
From the wrestling ring to boxing matches, MMA fights, or even a retail store fight with Johnny Knoxville of Jackass, Butterbean always brought it. And his 425 pounds made it hard to hurt him, helping him retire with a 77-10-4 boxing record and a 17-10 MMA record, to boot.
Ice hockey skates at about three inches to your height, so just imagine what 6’8″ John Scott looked like on the rink. Scott towered over friends and foes alike and few were willing to tangle with him during his NHL career.
Considering most wouldn’t even be able to reach his head with a punch during a fight, this man is definitely someone you want on your team. He may not have been the most skilled player, but he was a valued presence on the teams he played for nonetheless.
Troy “Escalade” Jackson
Troy “Escalade” Jackson was built like a Mack truck at 6’10”, 400 pounds, but the name of his game wasn’t really rim-rattling dunks. Instead, he liked to use nimble crossovers and deft passes to make the crowd “ooh” and “ahh” on the And-1 Mixtape Tour.
He even played for the University of Louisville, though they undoubtedly expected him to play a more conservative style than streetball encourages. We’re certain that this man will be hugely successful in the future.
Pitchers always tend to be taller than other baseball players. After all, the extra height gives them an advantage as they sling powerful fastballs and biting curveballs down toward hitters. Jon Rauch stands at 6’11”, so he has size to spare.
Rauch was even taller than the legendary Randy Johnson, though his resume doesn’t quite compare. That said, the man is still playing the game right now and he will definitely have his shot of reaching the legendary status.
It may be surprising to find out that Peter Crouch is not the tallest player to play in England’s Premier League, despite being 6’7″. However, he’s definitely a higher level player than the extremely tall players that have come before him.
Crouch’s resume includes a pair of World Cup appearances and has not only scored over 100 Premier League goals, but also the most headed goals in history, thanks in part to his height. Talk about gigantic soccer player.
Manute Bol stands alongside Gheorghe Muresan as the tallest player in NBA history, even above Shawn Bradley and Yao Ming. Unlike Muresan, Bol actually achieved a lot of success in his career, often leading the league in blocked shots and accumulating 2,086 total.
He actually blocked more shots than he scored points, though he did somehow make 6 three-pointers in one half in a game. He was an amazing player to watch on the court. Sadly, he passed away back in 2010. The world will forever remember him.
Football player turned MMA fighter, kickboxer, and all-around entertainer Bob Sapp is 6’5″, 350 pounds and as scary as they come for the thirty seconds until he gets tired in his fights. One could imagine the blows that this man can deliver.
Though he had a few decent wins over the years, he was also involved in enough very dubious fights to cast a real shadow over his fight career, no matter how intimidating his frame was. No one will ever forget this man in the ring.
Ivo Karlovic is a tennis player that stands out whenever he walks onto a court, owing to his 6’11” size. His size clearly helps him develop leverage for his serves, which have been recorded as fast as 156 miles per hour.
He wasn’t a world beater, but he once rose to the 14th rank in the world and clearly was someone nobody was too excited to play against. His huge arm span obviously gave him some amazing advantages on the court. A ball could not escape this man.
Margo Dydek stands at 7’2″, making her the tallest female professional basketball player in the world. She was the first pick in the 1998 WNBA Draft and led the league in blocks eight times during her ten year career. That’s super impressive.
This young lady is kind of like the female version of Manute Bol. She holds the all-time WNBA record for blocks with 877 and was chosen for a pair of All-Star games, as well. Obviously she is nothing to mess with on the basketball court.
Dalip “The Great Khali” Singh Rana
Though his birth name is nearly anonymous, Dalip Singh Rana is known to millions by another moniker: The Great Khali. Under that name, the 7’1″ monster wrestled in the WWE for years, becoming the first wrestler of Indian descent to do so.
While Khali may not have been the most coordinated wrestler, his size alone made him quite an attraction. That is exactly what he was, Khali was an attraction but his matches were hardly ever anything to really talk about.
Eddy Curry was a professional basketball player for the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, and Dallas Mavericks. Though he was 7′ tall, that’s nothing particularly special in the NBA. There are a ton of guys on the court that are that height.
What set Curry apart was his weight, which got as high as 400 pounds during its peak before he got in shape for a successful title run with the Heat in 2011. This guy was an absolute beast to go up against when he was on the court.
Paul “Big Show” Wight
Like Andre The Giant before him, Paul “Big Show” Wight has always been a big man in a sport full of huge guys. We saw him make his WWE debut back in 1999, but he was actually wrestling for WCW for years before that.
At 7′ tall and about 400 pounds, the Big Show has been a mainstay in the WWE for decades now and had a successful stint in WCW before that. He has also found himself starring in movies such as The Waterboy and Jingle All the Way due to his size.
Football is another big sport where large athletes are common, but it’s the way that Nate Newton carries his 335 pounds that sets him apart. While most ball players look pretty git, Newton looks just a little out of shape on the field.
Very few players have sported a paunch quite like Newton, who nonetheless was somehow able to move around with surprising quickness and agility. He earned six Pro Bowl selections and won three Super Bowls, too.
Even someone like Nate Newton would have to move aside if Emmanuel Yarbrough wanted to walk through. Why? Because the former sumo wrestling standout stood at 6’8″ tall and weighed over 800 pounds at his highest!
He was an All-American college wrestler (at a much smaller weight) before moving into sumo wrestling and an unfortunate (and short) career in the early years of the UFC. This man looks like a gigantic monster when compared to the other sumowrestlers.
It may not be surprising to see large athletes in physical sports such as football, MMA, boxing, or hockey, but what about golf? Phil Blackmar played 15 years on the PGA Tour while standing at a remarkable 6’7″ tall!
Blackmar even earned five Tour wins while playing with what had to be custom clubs tailored for his ridiculous height. It’s good to know that they make golf clubs big enough for him to hold, otherwise his career might have been way less successful.
John Isner is another tall man who succeeded in tennis, as he stood at 6’10” when he first walked onto a pro court in 2007. Since then, he has won at least one title nearly ever year, earning a top 10 ranking with many big wins as he builds an impressive resume year-after-year.
He even had the fastest serve recorded by the ATP at 157.2 miles per hour. We’re certain that with this guys height and strength he can absolutely send a ball flying for some amazing distances. No doubt, nobody looks forward to playing against him.
Shawn Bradley was 7’6″ and famous for many things in his NBA career: being a card-carrying Mormon, blocking the 14th most shots of all time, and earning a role in Space Jam, for instance. All three of these things absolutely put him on the map.
He’s unfortunately also famous for regularly being dunked on by much smaller players, to the point where it became a meme before we even knew what memes were. While he isn’t playing anymore, he’ll always be remembered for his work on the court.
Loek Van Mil
It’s too bad that the 7’1″ Loek Van Mil never got so much as a cup of coffee in the major leagues, because he would have been the tallest player in MLB history if he had. Instead, he played in the minor leagues, reaching as high as AAA but never getting the call.
Since he gave up on that dream, he has played in Japan, the Netherlands, and Australia, allowing him to hear “wow, you’re tall” in four different languages instead of just one. We’re sure he isn’t that offended by hearing it at this point.
It may depend on your national heritage, but some say that Paul Millar is the tallest soccer player ever, standing at an incredible 6’10”. To have that running after you on the field would be like a horror movie.
Others say it’s Belgian goalkeeper Kristof Van Hout. Anyway, the Scottish player was a professional until 2016, when he had a difficult time fully recovering from a 2014 ACL injury and chose to retire. It is no shock that such an injury would end a career.
John Daly presents us with a very interesting case. While most of the large athletes on our list grew up, John Daly grew a different direction: out. He got to nearly 300 pounds before having lap band surgery in 2008, although he looked bigger to our eyes.
He stood just 5’11”, at any rate, and had quite a belly even for a sport that doesn’t require much more than walking. At his peak, he drank up to 28 cans of Diet Coke per day. Good thing he chose Diet! Imagine how much bigger he would have been with regular.
At 7’7″ tall, Gheorghe Muresan was tied with Manute Bol for the honor of being the tallest player ever to walk on an NBA court. When he made his debut some years ago, the athlete truly shocked the masses in the stands and on television.
Unfortunately, like many very tall people, injuries took their toll with Gheorghe, who led the league in field goal percentage two times before he retired. He did make appearances in music videos and films such as My Giant due in large part to his size.
Although Sharran Alexander is 6′ tall (which is taller than most women, though not crazy or anything), the real kicker is that she’s 448 pounds! That said, she has stated that she isn’t a very aggressive person and that she just loves the sport.
It made her the heaviest sportswoman according to the Guinness Book of World Records, but it was also a huge advantage for her in her sumo wrestling career, when she competed for Britain during the Olympics.