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The Tallest Basketball Player: Gheorghe Muresan

Gheorghe Dumitru Muresan (born February 14, 1971), also known as George, is a retired Romanian professional basketball player. At 7 ft 7 in (2.31 m), he is the tallest player in NBA history, slightly taller than Sudanese player Manute Bol, who was 7 ft 6.75 in.

Basketball career

Muresan was born in the countryside of Romania, in Tritenii de Jos, and played competitive basketball at Cluj University. He played professionally in the French league with Pau-Orthez during the 1992-93 season and was an instant hit with fans. The NBA took interest in him and he was selected by the Washington Bullets in the 1993 NBA Draft. He played in the NBA from 1993 to 2000 showing signs of a promising career that was derailed by injuries.

He was named the NBA's Most Improved Player for the 1995-96 season after averaging 14.5 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.26 blocks per game while making a league-leading 58.4 percent of his field goals. He led in field goal percentage again the following season, with a 60.4% average. Overall, he holds career averages of 9.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 1.48 blocks per game and a .573 field goal percentage. He joined the New Jersey Nets for the final 31 games of his career. After ending his NBA career, Muresan had another stint in the French league before returning to the United States with his family. He normally wore number 77, in reference to his height.

On March 11, 2007, Muresan played a game for the Maryland Nighthawks as part of the tallest lineup in the history of basketball. This is the only basketball game Muresan has ever played where he was not the tallest person on the court, as Sun Mingming is 7' 9" (2.36 m).

Other work

In 2004, Gheorghe Muresan founded Giant Basketball Academy (GBA), a program dedicated to teaching the proper fundamentals of basketball to boys and girls of all ages. Muresan is also part of the Washington Wizards marketing and public relations team.

Outside basketball, Muresan has done some acting, playing the title character in 1998 feature film My Giant starring comedian Billy Crystal. Muresan plays a ventriloquist in rap artist Eminem's breakout video "My Name Is". He has appeared in commercials for Snickers candy bars, and sports television network ESPN. Most recently, Muresan authored two young adult fitness and health books: The Boy's Fitness Guide and The Girl's Fitness Guide.

Together with his family, Muresan has been a resident of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.

Tallest Active Player: Hasheem Thabeet

Hasheem Thabeet (born Hashim Thabit Manka on February 16, 1987 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) is a Tanzanian professional basketball player who plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder. At 7 ft 3 in (2.21 m), Thabeet is the tallest active player in the NBA. He was drafted as the 2nd pick overall by the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2009 NBA Draft after playing with the Connecticut Huskies. Thabeet was the tallest player ever to play for the Huskies. He did not begin to play basketball until the age of 15, when he began to watch pickup games in his native Tanzania. When first recruited, Thabeet was fluent in Swahili and French but knew little English.

Thabeet is the son of Thabit Manka and Rukia Manka. He has one sister, Sham, and one brother, Akbar.