UCF center Tacko Fall is the tallest player in college basketball, per NBC Sports. Fall’s 7-foot-6-inch height (a massive 90 total inches) also makes him one of the 40 tallest people in the world, per ESPN. Fall has bulked up his frame to 310 pounds and has an 8’4″ wingspan.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Fall wears size 22 shoes, which is the same as Shaquille O’Neal. Fall is originally from Dakar, Senegal in Africa. The big man played high school basketball in Florida at Liberty Christian after he came to the United States to pursue his athletic dreams.
Fall’s height allows him to dunk without leaving the floor. Many are wondering if Fall is too tall to play in the NBA. Five Thirty Eight detailed some of the history of big men who were at least 7’3″ tall.
There’s no shortage of reservations hanging over Fall as he heads toward the upcoming NBA draft. The age of the slow-footed big man is over and, increasingly, the league seems to have less room for guys who can’t get it done at the free-throw line. Fall is 23, and there’s a short shelf life for players who stand at least 7-foot-3: Only 25 have logged action in league history, and fewer than half played more than five seasons.
Manute Bol (7’7″) was one of the tallest people to ever play in the NBA. His son, Bol Bol, is 7’3″ and plays for Oregon. Fall is still three inches taller than the Oregon center.
According to The Ringer, Fall has a standing reach of 10’5″ which explains how the UCF center is able to alter shots on nearly every possession.
Fall Joins a List of Tall Centers Who Have Led Their Teams to the NCAA Tournament
UCF’s success this season is not just because of Fall. The Knights play stout defense and B.J. Taylor along with Aubrey Dawkins give UCF two veteran playmakers. Fall averaged 10.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks this season.
Fall looked much more aggressive and, at times, dominant during the second half of his senior season. The Ringer’s Roger Sherman explained how other recent big men have led their teams on March Madness runs.
As it turns out, truly enormous people on college basketball teams are generally big enough to get their team to the Big Dance. (It’s gotta be tough to find somebody willing to make Size 22 glass slippers.) New Mexico State had 7-foot-5, 360-pound Sim Bhullar from 2012 to 2014, and the Aggies went to back-to-back NCAA tournaments with him on the roster. (The Aggies also had Bhullar’s 7-foot-3 brother, Tanveer, but 7-foot-3 players aren’t as automatically dominant as 7-foot-5 ones.) UC-Irvine had Fall’s 7-foot-6 Senegalese countryman, Mamadou Ndiaye, from 2013 to 2016, and made the school’s only NCAA tournament appearance in his sophomore season.
UCF fans are hoping Fall can provide mismatch problems for opponents during the NCAA tournament and avoid early foul trouble. Regardless of how UCF does during March Madness, Fall is still one of the most interesting college basketball players in quite some time.