The biggest thing to come out of the small town of Taveras, Fla. is high school basketball star Elhadji Tacko Fall. Nicknamed “Taco” by his peers, he stands at 7 feet 5 inches; he’s the tallest basketball player in the nation, even taller than everyone in the NBA. At the tender age of 18, Taco’s doctors insisted that he would continue to grow, perhaps another two inches. It would be odd if we don’t see him playing in the NBA in the next few years.
Hasheem Thabeet of the Oklahoma City Thunder is the tallest player currently playing in the NBA, he stands a full two inches shorter than Taco at 7-foot-3. If his doctors’ estimations are correct, Fall’s height would match those of the tallest players in the NBA, Manute Bol and Gheorghe Muresan, who were each 7-foot-7.
There is an understanding amongst basketball players and coaches: “You can’t teach size.” Fall moved to the U.S. from Dakar, Senegal in 2012 to pursue his basketball dreams. Strangely enough, he had never played basketball until he moved to the States. Taco said adjusting to the pace of the game was difficult at first, but eventually eased into his role on the court. With an 8-foot wingspan, Fall’s presence on the court is dominant. His sheer size makes it nearly impossible for his defenders to box out for rebounds and his shots are unblockable. Once he has the ball under the rim, game over.
When Taco steps onto the court, his figure is menacing to his opponents. His towering stature is noticeable even when he’s sitting on the bench. He has a bit of a weird, awkward posture when he runs up and down the court, but swats shots with ease when posted up underneath the basket. On offense, you’ll obviously find Fall posted up near the rim. Basketballs look like large oranges in his hands that are nearly a foot long. Since his arms are so long, he barely has to jump to dunk the ball.
Much to no one’s surprise, Fall is getting phone calls from division one universities across the country to acquire his basketball services. Although his basketball skills are enough for him to get a college scholarship, it seems as if Taco is college bound regardless. He holds a 4.0 grade point average and will pursue a career as a biochemist if basketball doesn’t work out. To add to his genius, Fall is fluent in four languages.
Watch the video above to see Taco in action.