Who is Kenny George? Well, if you caught even a couple minutes of Wednesday nights game between University of North Carolina and University of North Carolina-Asheville I am guessing you know who he is. Kenny George plays basketball for UNCA and also happens to be the tallest player in the country at 77 and weighs a solid 360 pounds. I will add that with his shoes on, a size 26, George rises to an impressive 79, as if 77 wasnt impressive enough. To say George stood out amongst the other players would have been an understatement. Not only did he stand out due to his tall stature but he also put up 14 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocks in 24 minutes coming off the bench for the Bulldogs. Despite a solid effort by George, the attention after the game still fell on Tar Heel star Tyler Hansbrough and the aggressive dunk he threw down over a stunned George, but what can you do.
George is having a great junior season for the Bulldogs and is currently leading the nation in blocked shots, but the ride hasnt been easy for George. His size has brought serious drawbacks on and off the court. George has struggled with injuries caused mostly by the considerable amount of stress his joints take on a daily basis. He is too tall to fit into a drivers seat, which leaves him depending on friends and family for rides. Also, he gets 12 pairs of shoes a year from Nike, which are made special for him since the largest athletic shoe made is a size 23. Clearly, the journey to becoming the nations leading blocker has been by no means easy, but Georges future is bright and he hopes to one day play in the NBA. Most would say he will almost certainly get a chance to live his dream considering most teams would want to use his size to their advantage.
There have been a multitude of very tall and very successful players that have gone through the NBA. At 77, Manute Bol is the tallest player to date to ever appear in the NBA and had a very accomplished career playing for the Washington Bullets, Golden State Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat. Shawn Paul Bradley is yet another player whose 76 height helped him to become a noteworthy NBA player for the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets and Dallas Mavericks. Both of these players faced adversity because of their height, but were able to turn it into a positive in order to succeed. I hope George will continue to do the same and follow in the footsteps of the exceptionally tall players who have come before him.