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The story of Sun Mingming: A 7'9'' Chinese giant

The next Yao Ming that never was!
Sun Mingming

Sun Mingming

We all know about Yao Ming. The 7'6'' Chinese center became a global icon and achieved a great career in the NBA. Well, it seems that China truly is the land of the giants, as we will today talk about another basketball giant from that country by the name of Sun Mingming.

7'9'' TV Star

Born in 1983, Sun is known as one of the tallest players ever to play professional basketball, listed at 7'9''(236cm) and 360 pounds(167kg). With his height, Sun is towering over the likes of Yao Ming, Manute Bol, Shawn Bradley, and Gheorghe Muresan, who are some of the tallest players in NBA history. But Mingming wasn't just known for his basketball career, as he even made some TV cameos, most notably in Rush Hour 3.

Basketball upbringing and health problems

Sun wasn't really interested in basketball at first, but being 7'0'' at 15 years old simply forced him into the sport. But with time, his love for the game grew, and Mingming got ambitious towards making the NBA. But unfortunately, it was discovered in his 20's that Sun had a tumor on his brain, causing him to grow so rapidly even in his later years.

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The condition called Acromegaly caused Sun's body to release high levels of growth hormones and produce low levels of testosterone, which would be vital in creating any strength or athleticism to make the NBA. It was a case that demanded urgent medical attention but coming from a poor upbringing, Sun didn't have enough money for the procedure.

The revival of Mingming's career

Luckily his agent would organize a highly successful fundraiser and collect the money needed to get the surgery done. The two procedures were successful, and Sun was ready for his basketball journey to continue. The NBA was a bit too high of a goal, with Ming attending Ventura Community College and then bouncing between a few minor league USA teams before going to play in Mexico, Japan, and China.

Mingming would spend most of his career with the Bejing Ducks, even winning two championships alongside Stephon Marbury, but without too much of a role. Sun was far from the most talented player, but his size made him a phenomenon to watch. 

In 2014, Sun Mingming would eventually retire at 31 years old. Considering all the height and weight he was carrying, that was still pretty impressive. Unfortunately, Sun Mingming never became an NBA player or the star his size made him to be, but at least he got healthy and played the game he loved.

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