Watch as world's tallest basketball player and UK’s tallest man Paul Sturgess inspires children to embrace being different

Children at Fatfield Academy Inspires enjoyed a big surprise after a special visit by Paul Sturgess, who is considered to be the UK’s tallest man and also played professional basketball for the world famous Harlem Globetrotters.

By Neil Fatkin
Friday, 25th March 2022, 3:54 pm

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Standing at 7ft 7.26 inches tall, Paul’s trans-Atlantic basketball career also involved a spell at Texas Legends before returning to his English roots to play for Cheshire Phoenix who play in the British Basketball League.

During his time in playing for the Globetrotters, Paul was also officially recognised by the Guinness World Records as being the tallest professional basketball player.

Paul was very tall from a young age and did experience some teasing at school. Rather than letting his perceived difference get him down Paul embraced his height and used it to his advantage to carve out a successful career in professional basketball.

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The importance of embracing diversity and difference was a key message Paul wanted to relay to children at the Washington school.

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Paul, 34, said: “Playing for the Harlem Globetrotters allowed me to travel all over the world putting on basketball shows. I’m here today at Fatfield Academy to talk about diversity and difference and to try and inspire the children to be proud to be different.

"It’s a really important message for them to embrace who they are and to discover their talents and use them to their advantage - just like I did in my basketball career.

The world's tallest basketball player Paul "Tiny" Sturgess, who is also thought to be the UK's tallest man, visits Fatfield Academy to talk about his career and embracing diversity.

"We are also going to play some basketball and have a really fun time.”

Paul’s visit certainly seemed to have desired affect on the children.

Neve Smith, nine, said: “I like how he blocks out the negativity and doesn’t let people talk about his insecurities.”

At 7ft 7.26 inches tall, Paul towers above the primary school children of Fatfield Academy.

Classmate Oliver Coppard, 10, said: “I learnt that when people make fun of Paul’s height or how low pitched his voice is he just ignores them,” while Elizabeth Dibb, eight, added “I really like that he stands up for himself.”

The visit linked in with the school’s ethos that “everyone is unique and this is something we should celebrate”.

Deputy headteacher Nicky Dowdle added: “The purpose of our day was to celebrate difference. Paul delivered an assembly where he talked about his career and some of the fortunate things he’s been able to do since embracing his differences.”

A message from the editor:

Former Harlem Globetrotters basketball player, Paul Sturgess, with his certificate from the the World Guinness Records officially recognising him as the world's tallest basketball player.

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Paul "Tiny" Sturgess's certificate from the Guinness World Records.
Pupils listening to Paul's assembly about how he embraced "being different".