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How Tall is The Average NBA Player? Broken Down By Position

Basketball is a big man’s game. But how tall do you have to be to reach the top of the sport?

Breaking down the average height of NBA players by position
Credit-NBA/Dallas Mavericks/Joker Mag

Basketball is a tall man’s game.  But how tall do you have to be to reach the top of the sport?

According to official data from NBA.com, out of 501 active players, the average height of an NBA player is 6 feet 6.5 inches (199.62 centimeters).

That’s over 4 inches taller than the average NFL player, 4.71 inches taller than the average MLB player, and 9 inches taller than the average American male (5 feet 9.1 inches).

Here is a complete breakdown of the average height by position – plus a bonus for undersized ballers searching for inspiration.

Average Height of an NBA Center

The average height of an NBA center is 6 feet 8.86 inches (205.4 centimeters).

Notoriously the tallest position on the team, a center’s job is to protect the basket and snatch rebounds. But while there are plenty of 7-foot centers in the NBA, we’re also seeing smaller players make an impact.

At 6’7″, Montrezl Harrell is the smallest center in the NBA today. The 2020 NBA Sixth Man of the Year is an entire 9 inches smaller than fellow center Boban Marjanović, the league’s tallest player (7’4″).

Average Height of an NBA Forward

The average height of an NBA forward is 6 feet 6.57 inches (199.56 centimeters).

There’s plenty of overlap between small forwards who also play the 2, which explains the lower average height than most would expect.

At 6’4″, Malaki Branham is the shortest forward in the NBA today. The 2022 Big Ten Freshman of the Year is a whole 11 inches shorter than Kristaps Porzingis (7’3″), who is the tallest forward in the game.

RELATED: Breaking Down the Average Height of NFL Players (By Position)

Average Height of an NBA Guard

The average height of an NBA guard is 6 feet 4.18 inches (193.52 centimeters).

Guard sees the most disparity in height – with an entire foot separating the tallest from the smallest. Ben Simmons (6’10”) stands 12 inches above Facundo Campazzo (5’10”), the league’s smallest point guard.

RELATED: The Average Height of WNBA Players & How They Measure Up to The NBA

What About Undersized Players?

Nate Robinson, Isaiah Thomas and more of the shortest players in NBA history

If you’re a young basketball player reading this list, it’s easy to get discouraged. But these numbers don’t tell the whole story.

In fact, there are plenty of short guys who succeeded at the NBA level.

Take Earl Boykins, for example. He was so small that his dad would sneak him into their local rec center in his gym bag. At 5-foot-5 and 135 pounds, he spent the better part of two decades in the NBA.

Hungry for more? Check out our list of over 15 of the shortest NBA players of all-time. There are plenty of underdog stories that will show you what’s possible.

Sure, height helps. But your heart is what counts the most.

RELATED: Inspirational Basketball Quotes to Help You Level Up Your Game

Like underdog stories? Join our free Underdog Newsletter to keep up with the best stories that you won’t see on ESPN.

Written By

Division III baseball alum (McDaniel College) and founder of Joker Mag. Sharing underdog stories to inspire the next generation.

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