— Mateusz Kalina (@Kali_beer) June 7, 2014
Full disclosure: We remember when Yao Ming, who stood 7’6 inches, per the NBA — the league’s practice of inflating height is an open secret at this point; just ask Charles Barkley — was drafted into the NBA, and his height was always something that we struggled to contextualize, even in an environment as full of taller-than-average people as the highest level of competitive basketball. To be honest, we didn’t think we’d see anything like Yao Ming again, but that was before the Internet alerted us to Robert Bobroczky.
Bobroczky — 13 years old and hailing from Romania — already stands at 7’4 inches, so even if he stops growing tomorrow (unlikely), he’d be a metaphoric head and shoulders over the league’s tallest player today, Hasheem Thabeet, who stands at a “mere” 7’2 inches. Most kids that are a little taller than average are guided towards basketball at a young age, and Bobroczyk, we assume, was no different.
In a news feature that’s on YouTube, you can see some of his play in action — but unlike most 13 year olds, Robert has already been selected for play outside his home country, joining up with Italian basketball club Stella Azzurra Rome, the same club where current New York Knick Andrea Bargnani got his start.
This is probably a good time to mention that we hope Bobroczky has a more fulfilling basketball career than Bargs, who has been one of the most underwhelming number one overall picks in modern NBA history. Assuming the league does succeed in raising the age limit to 20, expect to see Robert’s name bandied about in time for the 2021 edition of the draft. Time to que up some Skee-Lo.