Lots of teenagers like to reach for the stars, metaphorically speaking. But there’s a basketball star in Florida who has a slight height advantage.
IMG basketball player Olivier Rioux always seems to be the center of attention. He’s even made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.
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Rioux is 7 feet, 5 inches tall and at 15 years old, he stands as the tallest teenager in the world, according to the Guinness World Records.
“Everywhere we go, you know, it’s not something he can hide from. You can’t put on a hat and not be 7′5″ anymore,” said Jeremy Schiller, Rioux’s head coach
Height runs in the Canadian big man’s family. He wears a size 20 shoe.
“My mom is 6′2″ and my dad is 6′8,″” Rioux said. “When I was 10, 11, 12, I started growing and it was getting fast. Every week, I was like getting height. I was taller than every kid in my school.”
Rioux is not just big, he’s talented. He’s a phenomenal passer, can shoot the three and finish at the rim. Schiller’s goal is to maximize his potential.
“The biggest thing when you meet him, you’re concerned: Is he skilled, can he move, what’s his motor like? Does he like basketball? Those are the things you’re concerned about when you meet a 7′5″ kid and start to work with him,” Schiller said. “The first thing is he loves basketball. That’s huge. Some kids are tall and people make them do it.”
Rioux is proof that embracing what makes you unique can help you reach new heights.