UCF center Tacko Fall sets combine record for height, wingspan, reach
Breaking news: Tacko Fall is huge. Like, NBA combine record-breaking huge.
The University of Central Florida center took part in measurements at the NBA combine in Chicago on Wednesday. While his cartoonish dimensions are no surprise to anyone who’s followed college basketball over the past several years or simply owns a pair of working eyes, Fall’s official measurements are still so outlandish that they almost don’t seem real.
According to Jonathan Givony of ESPN, Fall measured at just over 7-foot-5 without shoes, with an 8-foot-2 and 1/4 inch wingspan and 10-foot-2 and 1/2 inch standing reach, weighing 289 pounds with just 6.8 percent body fat.
For comparison, Mo Bamba of the Orlando Magic, the sixth overall pick in the 2018 draft, turned heads last year when his wingspan was measured at a record breaking 7-foot-10 – over four inches shorter than Fall’s. The previous combine record for standing reach, 9-foot-8, was held by NBA flameout Pavel Podkolzin, a mark that had stood since 2003-04. Fall beat it by more than six inches, with his standing reach measuring two and-a-half inches taller than the rim sits above the floor.
Fall’s long-shot NBA prospects, unfortunately, are directly related to the accompanying physical deficiencies of his historic size. In a past era, he almost certainly would have made his way onto a roster given his natural shot-blocking and rebounding ability. But in the modern NBA, where pace, space, and versatility is paramount, Fall would be imminently exploitable defensively, to an even greater extent than Philadelphia 76ers giant Boban Marjanovich, who saw himself yanked from Brett Brown’s rotation in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Fall is very unlikely to be drafted, but should catch on with a team at Summer League, where he’ll have the chance to prove widespread skepticism about his NBA future wrong.