Usually, when you think about basketball, you think tall players. But is it the basketball which is making these players tall? Even though there is no regulation for a player to be above a certain height, it certainly usually helps when they are taller.


There are several studies made to find a correlation between the basketball and the human growth (see references), and the conclusions differ somewhat.

One research suggests that the continuous jumping causes an increase of electric signals to the brain and this stimulates the production of growth hormone. Plus, the research team suggests that the constant jumping also helps boost the blood flow to the spine and legs and other parts of the body, and the jumping and then compression stimulates the growth palates which are located in the legs and spine. This leads to an increase of height.

Other experts claim that basketball directly affects the levels of the HGH human growth hormone in the body. The reason for this is the constant jumping, running around the court as well as the intake of caloric foods.

But actually, there is no real medical study which has found such a correlation between human growth and basketball. In a way, most medical experts do recommend playing sports for benefiting the body including increasing the growth especially during childhood and up to the 20’s.

But the fact is, there is no medical remedy found for shortness. Doctors do not know any medicines or exercises which can help someone grow in height. Thus, there is no actual medical proof that basketball can make people higher.

Another factor which we should consider is that gymnasts, for example, do the same or much more jumping and landing than basketball players, do as much training as them, and yet the height of the best gymnasts is shorter than average in general. So, the theory about the growth hormone stimulation, the growth palates as well as the increased blood flow doesn’t seem to work in this case.

Our conclusion is that the reason why the majority of the best basketball players are much taller than average is that most probably they have the genetic composition for becoming tall. Basketball coaches have learned to assess even the youngest kids for having such a genetic predisposition when picking the suitable ones to train. Playing basketball could be a bonus in this case, but the logical conclusion is that – no, basketball will not make you grow, if you are predisposed to be short in height.

Anyway, even if you or your child are short and predisposed to be short, there is no reason why you shouldn’t play basketball. There are no rules about the height, and plus basketball can benefit your health, fitness and is a great social sport which can teach you how to be a good team player, and can earn you a lot of good friends.

Playing basketball helps improve the coordination, endurance and concentration.  There is just one caveat though, you must pick the right basketball shoes for your position and type of play. It is crucial, as so you don’t accidentally get hurt wearing the wrong footwear and so you can get the maximum of the available resources.

So, even if it doesn’t help you grow physically, basketball could definitely help you grow and develop as a person. Plus, it is a great workout and will help you burn fat and build muscles.


  1. The Effect of physical activity on physical growth and development
  2. A Case for Basketball in Health-Related Physical Activity, Education, and Research
  3. Differences in Bodily Growth Between Young Footballers and Basketball Players