Tacko Fall of the UCF Knights is a rising stars. Picture: Bob Levey/Getty Images
Tacko Fall of the UCF Knights is a rising stars. Picture: Bob Levey/Getty Images

‘Holy s***’: 2.3m freak blows minds

College basketball sensation Tacko Fall is now openly mocking some of the tallest and most athletic stars of college basketball.

It's easy to do when you're one of the tallest player the sport has ever seen.

The 23-year-old University of Central Florida star has been wowing America in his fourth season of college ball, but his performance on Sunday (AEDT) where UCF upset No. 8 ranked University of Houston simply blew minds.

Fall, who appears to have finally stopped growing at 2.29m tall, treated opposition players like human play things.

In one clip that has started to go viral, Fall was spotted snatching a rebound between two Houston players and then proceeded tom wave the ball around at the defensive end to stop his opponents trying to hit it out of his oversized mits.


Tacko Fall was more than 2.2m tall in high school.
Tacko Fall was more than 2.2m tall in high school.

It was then that he realised all he has to do to keep the ball away from opposition is to raise the ball above his head.

The truly scary thing is that the player he has made look like a four-foot Game of Thrones character, Houston's Fabian White, is actually 2.01m tall himself - almost the same height as Collingwood AFL ruckman Brodie Grundy.

Fall is outrageously tall, but it's his wingspan that is truly from another world.

His wingspan was recently measured at 2.44m.

With his Go-go Gadget arms, Fall has a standing reach of 3.18m.

That means he can dunk the basketball with both feet planted on the ground. Easily.

He isn't just a one-trick pony, either.

The Senegalese product registered his fifth double-double of the season in the win over Houston - a win that may get his team into the NCAA Division 1 tournament, otherwise known as March Madness, for the first time in 15 years.

He finished the win with only 13 points and 10 rebounds - but it doesn't tell the story of how truly dominant he is.

"When you've got a 7-6 guy sitting in the paint, it takes away a lot of what you want to do,'' Houston's top-scorer Corey Davis said.

"They made everything difficult for us.''

Houston coach Kelvin Sampson said that Fall "takes away half your playbook".

His ability to stop anything that comes through the lanes trying to reach the rim is a game-changer.

So is his shooting.

Fall is on track to finish his four-year college career with the best shooting percentage of any player to ever play college basketball.

Nobody has ever shot more than 67.8 per cent from the field across their college careers.

Fall is shooting 74.1 per cent, according to The Ringer, which claims Fall will finish as the record-best shooter in college hoops.

"The career record for field goal percentage is 67.8, set by Oregon State's Steve Johnson from 1977 to 1981," The Ringer's Rodger Sherman reported.

"Fall is shooting 74.1 per cent for his career, smashing a 40-year-old record by nearly seven percentage points. If he were to finish his season by missing his last 59 shots without making any, he would still set the record. He's missed only 40 shots this year, though, so that's probably not going to happen."

He's also been blocking more than one in 10 opposition shots while he's on the floor and has helped his team restrict opposition to shooting less than 44 per cent from the field - the 11th best defensive pressure team in college basketball right now.

It's not hard to see why the teenage freak, who famously reached 2.29m tall in high school, is blowing up again.

Sherman even compared Fall to Duke superstar Zion Williamson - who is expected to be the No. 1 pick at the 2019 NBA Draft.

"When Fall is on the court, it's hard to pay attention to any of the other nine players," he wrote.

"Even when he stands still, it feels like everybody else's actions are influenced by the Godzilla in their midst."

Fall is just two inches shorter than NBA mountain Paul Sturgess, who famously still has the record as the tallest player the NBA has ever seen at 2.34m.

Unfortunately, in the modern NBA right now, that height is actually expected to see him drop down the pecking order at the 2019 NBA Draft.

Scout reports claim Fall could still be picked as high as mid-way through the second round.

His selection would be the exception to the rule recently in the league, where big men are required to be more agile.

Philadelphia star Boban Marjanovic is now the tallest player in the NBA at 2.21m tall. Fall had previously been expected to be a high end draft pick in 2017, but injured his shoulder.

He is expected to nominate for the 2019 NBA Draft sometime this semester,

Fall, was brought to the United States from Senegal as a 16-year-old, when spotted at a basketball camp by Ibrahim N'Diaye, whose brother, Mamadou played in the NBA.

From there he was given a scholarship to Liberty Christian Academy in Florida and boarded with "host mum" Mandy Wettstein in a similar script to the story of NFL star Michael Oher, portrayed in Hollywood movie The Blindside.

This story is far from over.


- with AP

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