As we have always seen and heard, Basketball is played by tall players. In fact, height is the key factor considered in the selection of basketball players. The average height of the basketball players used to be 6’7” from the era of 1985 to 2006. The two of the tallest players to make an appearance in basketball belonged to Romania’s team Gheorghe Muresan and Sudan’s Manute Bol who both towered at 7’7”. Still, there are rule breakers who played basketball despite being the shortest basketball players.
The following list contains the names of top 10 basketball players who pushed themselves beyond the NBA limits and lived up their dreams. Although they were greatly disadvantaged by their height, still, they played professional Basketball at international level. Even after retirement, a few of them became coaches. The stories of these 10 players will motivate and energizes your souls to liven up your dreams. Let’s have a look at the shortest Basketball players of all time.
- Shortest Basketball players in history
- Tyrone “Mugsy” Bogues (5’3”):
- Earl Boykins (5’5”):
- Melvin Hirsch (5’6”):
- Anthony “Spud” Webb (5’7”):
- Gregory Alan “Greg” Grant (5’7”):
- Louis “Red” Klotz (5’7”):
- Wataru “Wat” Misaka (5’7”):
- Monte Towe (5’7”):
- Keith “Mister” Jennings (5’7”):
- Charlie Criss (5’8”):
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Shortest Basketball players in history
Tyrone “Mugsy” Bogues (5’3”):
Tyrone was called “Muggsy” by his fellow mates because he was born in Maryland. Plus he was exceptionally good at defending so they always said that he was “mugging” them. He is the shortest basketball player ever to play in the National Basketball Association. Since 1983 to 1987 Muggsy played at Wake Forest University. He then played for Charlotte Hornets. Currently, he is serving as the head coach of United Faith Christian Academy Basketball Team.
Earl Boykins (5’5”):
Boykins was the youngest player to set foot in the basketball court. He joined Eastern Michigan University and played for Eagles team. He soon joined NBA and played for Washington Wizards, Milwaukee Bucks, and Houston Rockets. With 5.5 feet height, he is in all time Shortest NBA Players list.
Melvin Hirsch (5’6”):
Hirsch is one of the shortest players in the history of NBA. He went to Brooklyn college and became a part of the basketball team there. In 1946, he joined the NBA and played for Boston Celtics.
Anthony “Spud” Webb (5’7”):
Spudd Webb played a total of 814 games in the NBA. Like other players in the list, Webb did not let his height get in the way and made his mark. Webb played for several teams throughout his career like Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings, the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Orlando Magic.
Gregory Alan “Greg” Grant (5’7”):
Like his other mates with a short stature, Grant proved his skill through the practical approach. Jim Lynam, the manager of the Philadelphia 76ers spoke very highly of him. Grant played for the Philadelphia 76ers as a point guard from 1991-1993. After retiring he went to Trenton, New Jersey to run a sports academy. In 2009, he published a book called ‘94 Feet and Rising: The Journey of Greg Grant to the NBA and Beyond.’
Louis “Red” Klotz (5’7”):
Louis “Red” was known for his eye catching red hair and his short stature in NBA. Klotz first played with NBA’s Baltimore Bullets in 1947. After 5 years, Klotz became the owner of American Basketball League Philadelphia’s Sphas and called the Washington Generals. In 1953, his team went to compete with Globetrotters. His team didn’t do well so he changed their name to New York Nationals which were again renamed back to Washington Generals. He became the ambassador for spreading love in the game. Klotz died on 12 July 2014.
Wataru “Wat” Misaka (5’7”):
This boy from Japanese ancestry had a tough life throughout. Despite his short stature, he helped his fellow players from Utah Utes at the University of Utah win the 1944 NCAA Championship. He spent two years in Army after college. After serving for two years in the army he returned to the University of Utah and made his team win National Invitation Tournament Championship. From 1947 to 1948 Misaka joined New York Knicks as a point guard. He is also the first Asian-American player who participated in the NBA contest. He was a part of Utah Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.
Monte Towe (5’7”):
Monte Towe was underestimated for his height but his exceptional performance in the court proved everyone wrong. He registered at the North Carolina State University for graduation but ended up joining the NC State Wolfpack team. Norm Sloan, the head coach of the team, had fears regarding Monte Towe, but he proved them wrong with his brilliance and excellence in the court. Towe was soon made the team lead and managed to bring a national championship win for his university.
His team mate David Thompson, admitted that Towe brought a never dying and a never give up attitude to the team. Towe was never taken aback by his height. As matter of fact, he was always confident of his skills. Towe played for Denver Nuggets from 1976 to 1977. Towe served as a coach for many institutions after his playing career. He was also nominated for the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.
Keith “Mister” Jennings (5’7”):
With a height of 5’7”, Jennings did wonders with the basketball. Although he did face immense criticism, still he didn’t lose hope and his perseverance led him to NBA. In 1991, this star graduated from East Tennessee State University. From 1992 to 1995 he played for California’s Golden State Warriors as a point guard. However, he also played for renowned teams like Germany, Turkey, Spain, Russia, and France. After he got retirement, he served as a coach for various schools in Tennessee and Virginia. Recently he is serving at Bluefield College in Bluefield, Virginia as an assistant coach. He was also included in East Tennessee State University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013.
Charlie Criss (5’8”):
Charlie Criss is not the only player to have played in NBA with a height of 5’8”. There are others as well like Don Dino Martin and Willie Somerset who gave power packed performances in their tenure with the same height. Criss, however, faced many challenges in his basketball career. He played in the Continental Basketball Association after graduating from New Mexico State University. Moreover, he always wanted to move up and play in the NBA although he was voted as the Most Valuable Player twice in the association.
Seven years after Criss graduated from college, in 1977, his long awaited dream came true and he was just 28 when he joined Atlanta Hawks as a guard. He was labeled as NBA’s smallest player and the oldest rookie. He was selected in the NBA because of his sharp shooting and passing skills. Criss was always very quick with the ball and his coach Hubie Brown was very proud of him.
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These were the top 10 Shortets Basketball Player of all times. Feel free to leave a comment and share your opinion with us.