TAMPA (CBSMiami/CNN) – Lots of teenagers like to reach for the stars, metaphorically speaking.
But there’s a basketball star in Bradenton who has a slight height advantage and has made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.
IMG Academy basketball player Olivier Rioux always seems to be the center of attention.
“Everywhere we go, you know, it’s not something he can hide from. You cant put on a hat and not be 7′ 5″ anymore,” said head coach Jeremy Schiller.
At 7′ 5″, Rioux stands as the tallest teenager in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
Height runs in the Canadian big man’s family.
“My mom is 6′ 2″ and my dad is 6′ 8,” said Rioux. “When I was 10, 11, 12, I started growing and it was getting fast. Every week, I was like getting height. I was taller than every kid in my school.”
Rioux is not just tall, he’s talented. He’s a phenomenal passer, can shoot the three and finish at the rim. First-year head coach Schiller’s goal is to maximize his potential.
“The biggest thing when you meet him, you’re concerned, is he skilled, can he move, what’s his motor like, does he like basketball? Those are the things you’re concerned about when you meet a 7′ 5″ kid and start to work with him. The first thing is he loves basketball, that’s huge, some kids are tall and people make them do it,” said Schiller.
Rioux is proof that embracing what makes you unique can help you reach new heights.
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