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Meet Olivier Rioux, 16, the 7ft5 Canadian basketball prodigy and officially the tallest teenager in the world

OLIVIER RIOUX stands out from the crowd both on and off the basketball court.

The second year high school student from Quebec has been named the tallest teenager in the world by Guinness World Records.

Rioux beats his trainers at IMG Academy in Florida

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Rioux beats his trainers at IMG Academy in FloridaCredit: Instagram @ olivier.rioux
The Canadian player went viral when he was 6ft10 tall during an under-12 tournament

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The Canadian player went viral when he was 6ft10 tall during an under-12 tournament
The prodigy met football star Sergio Ramos during his time playing for the Real Madrid basketball team

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The prodigy met football star Sergio Ramos during his time playing for the Real Madrid basketball teamCredit: Instagram @ olivier.rioux
Rioux moved from his native Quebec to Florida in the summer of 2021

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Rioux moved from his native Quebec to Florida in the summer of 2021

The 16-year-old has a staggering height of 7ft5 (227cm) and is currently attending the sports-focused preparatory school IMG Academy in Florida.

And he has lofty ambitions to become a professional gamer, hoping to follow in the footsteps of IMG IMG alumni Trevon Duval and Jonathan Isaac.

Rioux was born in Montreal, Canada in 2006 and both his father and mother are over 6 meters tall.

Father Jean-Francois is an impressive 6ft8, with mother Anne Gariepy standing at 6ft1.

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But there was no real sign from an early age that he would break the 7ft barrier by the time he was just thirteen, with doctors initially believing he would peak around 6ft5.

They were clearly wrong, with Olivier growing about 10cm a year – and he may not be finished yet.

Rioux recalls participating in basketball games at the age of 5 and competitors questioning his true age due to his already impressive height.

Away from the game, the world’s tallest teen needs a few small tweaks to his daily life to keep things comfortable.

His parents had to modify their house to have higher countertops and ceilings, while it was a struggle to find sneakers to fit Olivier’s massive -20 feet .

‘LOTS of QUESTIONS…’

And on a family trip to Cuba, stunned visitors lined up in the resort of Rioux just to be photographed with him.

However, in court, Olivier was really noticed with his first being known after going viral in 2018.

Only twelve years old at the time, he stood at a whopping 6ft10 as he played against the French team Frenchy Phenoms against a host of Spanish teenagers in an Under-12 tournament.

Rioux stood out from the other kids, demonstrating great mobility, shooting and diving as his undoubted talent became known around the world.

NBA stars took note, as Steph Curry replied ‘Lots of questions…’ to the viral clip.

Before making the life-changing move from Quebec to Florida, Rioux spent time training and playing against Real Madrid in Spain and College St-Jean-Vianney in Montreal.

It was in Spain that Rioux was photographed alongside football royalties, making then-Real Madrid star Sergio Ramos look like a child in an Instagram photo.

In the summer of 2021, Olivier made an exciting move to move to IMG Academy and will now play the rest of his high school career with the Ascenders.

Centrally located, he has proven a hugely effective presence for his new team this season and will hopefully catch the eye of D1 colleges.

‘LOTS OF POTENTIAL’

His fitness and presence impressed his coaches, as did his adaptability both on and off the court.

Steffen Visk, assistant manager of strength and conditioning at IMG, was immediately impressed by Rioux when he arrived.

He said: “When I first met him, I said to myself ‘man, I hope he comes full year’.

“As part of the basketball program for a long time, I’ve seen a lot of guys over 7ft tall. So it wasn’t a huge shock.

“But seeing him move, knowing his age, it’s like woah, this young man has so much potential.”

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And although Olivier is developing very quickly, his coaches have been stunned by how well he copes with the challenges he poses.

Steffen continued: “[Olivier] grows really, really fast, and part of that is you lose a lot of coordination.

“You also lose the ability to move quickly. So it’s almost like he has to relearn how to explode like he did when he was younger and younger.”

Rioux took the title of tallest teenager in the world from Ren Keyu, who in 2020, is 15 years old and 7ft3 tall.

If he made it to the NBA, even at his current height, Rioux would be the third tallest player of all time.

Romania’s Gheorghe Muresan tops the NBA’s ranking of tallest players, with the former Bullet and Nets star a whopping 7ft7.

Canadians enjoyed playing spells in Spain before finding their place in Florida

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Canadians enjoyed playing spells in Spain before finding their place in FloridaCredit: Instagram @ olivier.rioux
Rioux wants to compete with IMG alumni and reach the NBA

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Rioux wants to compete with IMG alumni and reach the NBACredit: Instagram @ olivier.rioux
Giant teen is officially the tallest in the world

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Giant teen is officially the tallest in the worldCredit: YouTube: IMG Academy
Rioux's family is all over 6ft tall, with his father 6ft8 and brother 6ft9

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Rioux’s family is all over 6ft tall, with his father 6ft8 and brother 6ft9Credit: YouTube: IMG Academy

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/4906056/olivier-rioux-basketball-tallest-teenager-in-world/ Meet Olivier Rioux, 16, the 7ft5 Canadian basketball prodigy and officially the tallest teenager in the world

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