Extreme physical traits and attributes are one of the key characterics where one can get drafted highly into the NBA. Such is the case of having a long wingspan.
Some scouts and trainers believe that having a long wingspan in the NBA has advantages in competitive basketball.
That’s the reason why draftees with these physical gifts are often ranked higher than other players in the draft pool.
Are you curious who has the longest wingspan the NBA has ever recorded? If so, I’ll dig deeper to give you a detailed guide on who had the longest wingspan in the history of the NBA.
Who Has the Longest Wingspan in NBA History?
The longest wingspan in NBA history is no other than Manute Bol, whose wingspan measures a whopping 8-foot 6-inches; he has long been the record holder of the NBA.
With a height of 7 feet and 7 inches, Manute Bol was a Sudanese-American Professional Player who played for the Washington Wizards, Golden State Warriors, and the Philadelphia 76ers.
He also has a son named Bol Bol, who, much like him, has the same physical tools, such as having a wingspan similar to his and a slender frame. Bol Bol previously played for the Denver Nuggets Franchise.
To this day, no one else came close to his incredible wingspan, and it will most likely go down as one of the longest wingspans in NBA history.
The 10 NBA Players With The Longest Wingspans In NBA History
Aside from Manute Bol, there are also certain players with incredible physical gifts. I’ve listed them below to get to know more about them.
Note: I have excluded Manute Bol from this list.
1. Tacko Fall
- Wingspan: 8 ft, 2 in
- Height: 7 ft. 5.25 in
With a whopping 8 feet and 2 inches wingspan, Tacko Fall is recorded as one of only two players in NBA basketball history to eclipse the 8-foot wingspan mark in NBA history.
In his college years, he became famous for being one of the country’s best shot blockers; his ability to contest shots and being a consistent player sent fear to his opponents driving into the rim.
His shot-blocking ability, grabbing rebounds, and wingspan were used to his full advantage throughout his college career. However, his amazing college career didn’t translate into the NBA, and he was eventually traded to various teams.
Today, he doesn’t play for any NBA team and has since been seen playing in the NBA’s developmental league. He previously played for the Boston Celtics franchise.
2. Mohammed Bamba
- Wingspan: 7 ft 10 in
- Height: 7 ft
Drafted sixth by the Orlando Magic in the 2018 NBA draft, Mohammed Bamba is the current holder of the longest wingspan of an active player, with 7 feet and 10-inches.
In addition, he is also two inches taller than the average height of an NBA center. Despite being new to the league, he became known for his shot-blocking presence and ability to alter shots.
Quite a few can only match his wingspan and ability to protect the rim, which bodes well for the Orlando Magic organization.
Bamba’s incredibly long wingspan and court coverage allow him to become one of the best defensive centers on the basketball court. His entire 7 feet and 10 inches of wingspan can wreak havoc in the paint.
His physical tools and dedication to the game will only pave the way for him to become one of the greatest defensive players in the Orlando Magic organization history, along with Dwight Howard.
3. Walter Tavares
- Wingspan: 7 ft 9 in
- Height: 7 ft 3 in
Only quite a few might have heard of Walter Tavares’ name, but he still ranked as one of the few NBA players with incredibly long wingspans.
His 7 feet and 3 inches height is four inches taller than the NBA average, but it was not until he was seventeen years of age that his long reach touched a basketball that was only discovered by a tourist spending their vacation in Cape Verde.
But, from that day, he took his talents to the NBA and was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2014 NBA Draft. However, his career didn’t pan out as people thought, and he has since been relegated to the NBA’s developmental league.
After his stint in the NBA, he took his talents to Real Madrid and eventually won the Euroleague title in the 2017-2018 season.
4. Mouhamed Sene
- Wingspan: 7 ft 8.5 in
- Height: 7ft 0 in
Most remembered for playing his younger years in Seattle Supersonics when he was drafted 10th overall in the 2006 NBA draft, he was most notable for his imposing presence on the court, combined with a wingspan that was one of the longest at the time for an average center.
Mouhammed Sene is a Senegalese former professional player for different international basketball teams, and his wingspan measures 7 feet and 8.5 inches.
Players such as Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz and Mo Bamba from the Magic are the few players currently playing in the NBA who can rival his wingspan.
His career was cut short as he bounced to several teams before eventually playing overseas. Out of this list, he was relatively unknown to most NBA fans.
Perhaps, one of his greatest achievements in his professional basketball career is winning the G League’s Defensive Player of the Year award, thanks to his extra-long reach and ability to guard the paint.
5. Rudy Gobert
- Wingspan: 7 ft 8.5 in
- Height: 7 ft 1 in
Drafted 27th overall by the Utah Jazz in the 2013 NBA Draft, Rudy Gobert is most notable for playing the center position most of his career in the organization.
His 7ft 8.5in wingspan and 7 ft 1in height was too much for an average center. As a result, his significant physical advantage made him one of the most consistent defensive players in the NBA league.
He led the league in blocks for the 2017 NBA season and is ranked 7th among active players in career blocks behind Anthony Davis, Deandre Jordan, Marc Gasol, Brook Lopez, and Serge Ibaka.
He won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award three times and tied second in the History of the NBA. In addition, he is a six-time member of the All-Defensive First Team and a Three-time All-star while playing for the Utah Jazz franchise.
Rudy Gobert was eventually traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, but his wingspan and shot-blocking presence while donning the Utah Jazz jersey earned him “The Stifle Tower” nickname.
6. Chris Marcus
- Wingspan: 7ft 8in
- Height: 7 ft 1 in
With a height of 7 feet and 1 inch and weighing over three hundred pounds, Chris Marcus might go down as one of the heaviest players in the History of the NBA with an impressive wingspan.
He was most notable for his prolific college career at Western Kentucky University. However, injuries and weight problems cut short his sudden rise.
Chris Marcus never actually played a single NBA game. He only participated in practice sessions with the Denver Nuggets. Unfortunately, this gentle giant passed away due to ill health in 2020.
7. Zhou Qi
- Wingspan: 7 ft 7.75 in
- Height: 7 ft 2 in
Zhou Qi is a Chinese professional basketball player and former Houston Rockets player. It was in 2016 that he gained fame when he was still playing in his country, and it was a big deal back in his hometown.
He eventually declared for the 2016 NBA draft and was taken 43rd overall by the Houston Rockets. However, his career wasn’t what everyone was expecting.
Still, his amazing wingspan and standing reach for an average center sent shockwaves to most NBA scouts during 2016. But he didn’t live up to his expectations and has since taken his talents to the Australian Basketball League.
However, Zhou Qi is still a promising player and has represented his country in various international basketball events such as the FIBA World Cup and the Olympics.
8. Udoka Azubuike
- Wingspan: 7 ft 7 in
- Height: 7ft 0 in
Playing for the Utah Jazz, Udoka ranks 8th for basketball players with such a lengthy wingspan for a center and power forward position with a whopping seven feet and seven inches!
He was most known for his incredible defensive plays with the Kansas Jayhawks.
His height and incredible wingspan helped him corral rebounds, block shots, and protect the paint. He might go down as one of the best shot blockers in Kansas Jayhawk’s History.
His NBA career with the Utah Jazz is still in its early stages, and I am really hoping that his wingspan and dedication to being the best player on the basketball court will only catapult him into the ranks of the best players in the History of the NBA.
9. Hassan Whiteside
- Wingspan: 7ft 7in
- Height: 7 ft 0 in
Standing at 7 feet tall with a 7 feet and 7 inches wingspan, Hassan Whiteside comes in at 9th on the list of NBA basketball players with the longest wingspan in the History of NBA basketball.
He was most notable during his time with the Portland Trail Blazers, Miami Heat, and Sacramento Kings. His intimidating presence and great shot-blocking skills sent tremors to the opposing team.
As a result, he led the league in rebounds in 2017 while playing for the Miami Heat. He also led the league in blocked shots in the 2019-2020 NBA season while playing for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Still, his per-36 minute shot-blocking average is impressive compared to most NBA centers. He was not a consistent player during his time, but when given minutes, he played to his potential.
Since leaving the Portland Trail Blazers, he has been given few opportunities. But when given a chance, he is one of the most prolific shot blockers the league has ever seen. He last played for the Utah Jazz.
10. Jason Jennings
- Wingspan: 7ft 7in
- Height: 7 ft 0 in
You probably might not have heard of him, but Jason Jennings ranks among the NBA players with the longest wingspan to play the game.
Still, he was best remembered for playing one of his best basketball during his time with Arkansas State during his college career. He had a school record of blocking 102 shots in a single season.
He was selected 43rd overall pick during the 2002 NBA draft and played for the Portland Trail Blazers during his time. He forwent his NBA career and played in Europe most of his professional career.
Notable Active Players With Long Wingspans In The NBA
Here are some other notable active players currently playing in the NBA with long wingspans:
1) Kevin Durant
- Height: 6 ft 10 in
- Wingspan: 7 ft 5 in
Kevin Durant might go down as one of the best players to ever play in the NBA.
However, he also has one of the longest wingspans in the small forward position.
He is a 12-time NBA All-Star and plays for the Brooklyn Nets as a power forward.
2) Andre Drummond
- Height: 6 ft 10 in
- Wingspan: 7
Drummond has become one of the NBA’s most prolific rebounders the league has ever seen while playing for the Detroit Pistons.
Thanks to his impressive wingspan, he led the league in rebounds for multiple seasons and became an NBA All-star. He is currently playing for the Chicago Bulls.
3) Anthony Davis
- Height: 6ft 11in
- Wingspan: 7ft. 6in
The Los Angeles Superstar is definitely a two-way star in the NBA known for his offensive and defensive abilities.
His extra-long arms allow him to block shots and grab rebounds efficiently. Quite a few are capable of blocking his shot due to his impressive wingspan.
4) Dwight Howard
- Height: 6 ft 10 in
- Wingspan: 7 ft 4.5 in
Definitely, one of the best defensive players in the Orlando Magic organization’s history. Dwight Howard has become a menace on the court throughout his career.
He became a three-time defensive player of the year awardee and ranked among the upper ranks regarding career blocks and rebounds.
5) Deandre Jordan
- Height: 6 ft 9.5 in
- Wingspan: 7 ft 6 in
Much like Andre Drummond, Deandre Jordan has also become one of the NBA’s most prolific rebounders and shot-blockers.
There’s nothing to be thankful for but his incredibly long reach has allowed him to grab rebounds like picking cherries.
In NBA history, there were only quite a few NBA players who were able to lead the league in rebounding for two consecutive seasons.
6) Boban Marjanovic
- Height: 7ft 4in
- Wingspan: 7ft 9in
While he might not be known for being a great basketball player, Boban is definitely one of the more popular centers in the NBA because of his height and ability to touch the rim without leaving his feet off the ground, along with Tacko Fall.
He last played for the Dallas Mavericks and is popular for how gigantic his stature is.
What Are The Advantages Of Having A Long Wingspan?
Having incredible physical features will always have advantages, especially for players in the NBA and worldwide.
Read below if you want to know the advantages of having a longer wingspan:
#1 Shot-Blocking / Contesting Shots
Having extremely lengthy arms means you can reach the shooting hand far quicker than a player with an average wingspan.
As a result, they tend to be more prolific shot-blockers, ask Rudy Gobert and Brook Lopez.
If you’ve already read the list, you will immediately know that almost all of them are terrific shot blockers. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that.
When your wingspan hovers around seven feet, it means you’re tall. And when you’re tall, you get to block more shots frequently than what a point guard does.
#2 Grabbing Rebounds
In the same case with blocking shots, grabbing rebounds will almost always go hand in hand with longer wingspans.
When you have extra-long arms, you don’t need to propel yourself to grab them. Instead, all you need to do is extend your arms and grab the ball in the air.
If you’ve noticed on my list, most centers such as Rudy Gobert, Hassan Whiteside, and Tacko Fall are prolific rebounders because they don’t have to rely on their jumping ability to corral the boards.
#3 Guard Taller Than You
When you have a higher wingspan than your height, you will most likely guard players taller than you. Why? Because your wingspan can cover up your height limitations.
Players like Kevin Durant, Lebron James, and Kawhi Leonard are a few examples wherein they don’t usually guard the small forward position.
They can guard multiple positions such as power forward and center due to their incredible physical features.
#4 Get Steals
Longer reach means your arms can penetrate a dribbler’s hand than your average player with an average wingspan.
For example, Rajon Rondo might be a small point guard, but his tremendous wingspan allows him to be a prolific defender.
Another great example is Kawhi Leonard; while he might play as a natural small forward, he can guard multiple positions and easily get steals from centers and power forward positions that aren’t known to possess great dribbling skills.
As a result, he won numerous awards in the NBA. He might be six foot seven inches tall, but his seven foot three inches wingspan makes up for his great defensive plays.
#5 Dribble Low
Because your arms and hands are much closer to the ground, you tend to dribble lower.
As a result, you get a good grip on the ball and can easily glide through the entire basketball court.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If you have more questions, I have listed below some of the topics that are usually asked about NBA players’ wingspans:
Who Has the Longest Wingspan in the NBA in 2022?
Tacko Fall isn’t currently playing for the NBA, and his 8 feet and two inches wingspan would have been the longest in the NBA today. Still, he plays for the NBA developmental league and still holds the longest wingspan in the NBA, technically.
However, the player who has the longest wingspan in the NBA in 2022 is Mo Bamba. His seven feet and ten inches of wingspan should be the longest one in the league. He actively plays for the Orlando Magic organization and should be accounted for having the longest one.
What is the Ape Index?
Ape Index is a measurement of your wingspan relative to your height.
The best way to calculate the Ape Index is by subtracting a person’s height from their actual wingspan.
Normally, the average Ape Index should have a 1:1 ratio, wherein if your height is around five feet, then your wingspan should be five feet as well.
In addition, most athletes have significantly longer wingspans than their actual size.
In the NBA, the average wingspan of a player is usually around four inches longer than their height, which means their average Ape Index is +4.
Who has the Highest Reach in the NBA?
If we’re talking about NBA players who play actively in the NBA, Mo Bamba of the Orlando Magic has the highest reach in the NBA
With a reach of 7 feet and 10 inches, he ranks among the upper echelon when it comes to the highest reach in the NBA today.
Tacko Fall might still rank in this category, but he isn’t currently playing for any NBA teams as of the moment.
What is the Highest Vertical Reach in the NBA?
According to the NBA, the basketball player holding the highest vertical reach is no other than Tacko Fall.
He stands at 7 feet and 7 inches tall and has a standing vertical reach of ten feet and two-and-a-half inches. In perspective, he can dunk the rim without attempting to jump.
However, unofficial records also say that Manute Bol holds the record for the highest standing vertical reach among NBA players, with ten feet and 5 inches.
The difference is that Tacko Fall is relatively heavier than Manute Bol; he weighs around 288 pounds during the draft, whereas Manute Bol hovers around 200 pounds.
What Is the Wingspan of Giannis Antetokounmpo?
Giannis, who plays for the Milwaukee Bucks franchise, has a wingspan of 7 feet and 4 inches long. His size, speed, athleticism, and wingspan earned him the nickname “The Greek Freak.”
He has become one of the most dominant players the league has ever seen and one of only three players to have won the MVP, Finals MVP, and Defensive Player of the Year awards in the same season; the other two players are Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon.
Who Has the Shortest Wingspan in NBA History?
Guards are the easy pickings for having the shortest wingspans in the NBA. Here’s the list of the basketball players with the shortest wingspans currently playing in the NBA today.
- Markus Howard – 6 ft. 0.25 in
- Sharife Cooper – 6 ft. 1 in
- Isaiah Thomas – 6 ft. 1.75 in
- Patty Mills – 6ft. 2in
- Kyle Lowry – 6 ft. 2 in
- Fred Vanvleet – 6 ft. 2 in
- Raul Neto – 6 ft. 2 in
- T.J. McConnell – 6ft. 2in
- Trae Young – 6 ft. 3in
- Malachi Flynn – 6ft. 3in
However, if you’re asking for the official record for the shortest wingspan in NBA history, both Shane Larkin and JJ Barea hold the record with 5 feet and 10.5 inches wingspan.
For comparison, Nate Robinson, who is relatively smaller than both, has two inches longer wingspan despite being the shorter one.
Having incredible physical gifts is a major advantage in sports, especially in the NBA.
The likes of Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, and Marc Gasol are many who use these physical gifts to their advantage.
Are you surprised at how wingspans can affect the game of professional basketball? So do I.
I hope this list has helped learn a few things about the advantages of having a lengthy wingspan.