Born in Australia and growing to a mighty six feet, ten inches, there was almost no doubt that Rory Arnold would end up on rugby teams. There was also almost no doubt that he would play lock, the position that accumulates the most size and power. Born in 1990, Arnold’s clear and obvious ability to be a boon on the rugby pitch was noticed quickly, and his professional career began in 2013 after a couple of years in youth and amateur leagues.
He usually plays in Australia but has spent a little bit of time in France, and he also sometimes enters Tokyo like Godzilla to knock over some buildings. And get this – Rory has a twin brother who is the same size as he is! Yes, there are two of them!
Sun Mingming – 7’ 9”, 370 lbs
You know, if you’re hearing about an Asian player, he’s going to be a really, really big guy, and that’s absolutely true for Sun Mingming. He is a former Chinese basketball player, and he’s actually been recorded as the tallest professional basketball player in the world, according to Guinness World Records. Despite being born in China, he went to college in California for a few years before joining the NBA draft.
He wasn’t drafted by any of those teams, but he quickly became part of the international basketball leagues. He played from 2006 until 2014, and we bet you can guess that he played center. That’s where the biggest players on the team end up, and as perhaps the biggest man to ever play basketball, it’s where Mingming spent most of his time.
Primo Carnera – 6’ 6”
Primo Carnera, which was apparently his real name – was a boxer who lived in the first half of the twentieth century, from 1906 to 1967, and who reigned as the World Heavyweight Champion for almost an entire year. That’s pretty tough to pull off, but it might have something to do with Primo Carnera standing at a height of six feet, six inches, and also having a reach of eighty-five inches.
He won more fights by knockout than any other heavyweight champion in all of boxing history. He was also a wrestler, but he had to put his fighting career behind him in 1944 due to having a kidney removed since he was a diabetic. Getting punched where a kidney should be has got to be bad for you.
Mark Eaton – 7’ 4”
Being a big guy (or girl) on a sports team doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a great player. But there was a lot of overlap for Mark Eaton of the Utah Jazz. Eaton towered over even other players on the hardwood, growing up to seven feet and four inches by the time his growth spurts were all done. He played for the Jazz his entire professional basketball career, from 1982 until 1994, and he was obviously the big man on the team, the center.
He was a dynamite player – he led the league in blocks four times and held the NBA single-season record for blocks at four hundred and fifty-six. He was so dominant that his number, fifty-three, was retired by the Jazz after he himself retired.
Ralph Sampson – 7’ 4”
Ralph Sampson had a lot of expectations of him when he entered the National Basketball Association. He was a three-time college national player of the year, the first overall selection in the 1983 NBA draft, and he stood at seven feet, four inches. And he proved those expectations correct.
He was the NBA Rookie of the Year with the Houston Rockets. Over his twelve seasons, he was a four-time NBA All-Star and the NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player in the 1985 edition. However, injuries quickly started to take their toll, as they so often do with the big guys in the game. After a trio of knee surgeries, Sampson retired in 1995, leaving behind a historic career. He then went on to do a good bit of coaching before hanging up his sneaks for good in 2013.