Whether you’re a seasoned basketball fan or just curious about height, this article is for you if you’d like to know the average NBA height by position and also how the NBA average height has changed over the years and decades.
Point guards, shooting guards, small forwards, power forwards, and centers; you’ll find out how tall they are on average in this basketball height guide.
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What is the average NBA height?
What is the average NBA height? Currently, the average NBA player height is right around 6 feet 6 inches tall, which works out to 198.12 centimeters.
Considering that the normal height for men is around 5 foot 9, you begin to realize just how tall even an average basketball player is.
The average NBA player is 9 inches taller than the average American man, which really proves the point that, while not the be-all and end-all, height is still extremely important for NBA success.
This is more true for certain positions than others. For example, point guards are typically a lot smaller than power forwards, but they’re also faster and more agile.
What is the average NBA player weight?
When you take the average weight for each basketball position and then take an overall average, you get an average NBA player weight of around 220 pounds or 99.79 kilograms.
Here is the average NBA weight by position:
- Point Guard: 190 lbs
- Shooting Guard: 205 lbs
- Small Forward: 220 lbs
- Power Forward: 230 lbs
- Center: 250 lbs
The average NBA player height by position
This section outlines the NBA average height by position so that you can better understand why greater stature (and body weight) is required for certain basketball positions.
Average point guard height
Based on our detailed analysis, the average NBA point guard height is right around 6 feet 2 inches or 188 centimeters, which is 4 inches below the average basketball player height.
Obviously, there have been numerous point guards throughout NBA history who were way taller than 6’2 (Magic Johnson, anyone?).
Often leaders on the court, point guards (PG) need to be agile as they are responsible for getting their team into offense.
While NBA point guards need to be taller than the average man, height is very much secondary to skills such as ball handling and other physical attributes like speed.
Average shooting guard height
Based on the current basketball height data, the average shooting guard height in the NBA is 6 feet 5 inches, which is nearly 196 centimeters.
Shooting guards are often a few inches bigger than point guards as they need more physical strength in order to shoot from further out and steal the ball.
Yet, shooting guards (SG) also need to be fast with decent passing skills, although shooting is their main priority.
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Average small forward height
According to recent height measurement data, the average small forward height in the NBA is 6 feet 7 inches, which is just over 200 cm.
The small forward average height is a whopping 10 inches taller than that of the average man, which isn’t surprising considering that small forwards are bigger than both point guards and shooting guards, who are already tall in their own right.
Small forwards will need to defend as well as score points, two tasks where height and body size can be a big advantage.
Average power forward height
It’s estimated that the average power forward height in the NBA is 6 feet 9 inches (an entire foot taller than the average male), which works out to 205.74 centimeters.
Power Forwards need to be strong and physically imposing, much more so than the likes of point guards or shooting guards, hence why they’re literally called ‘power’ forwards.
A power forward needs to be an exceptional rebounder with good ball-handling skills, and they’re typically the second-tallest players on the court.
Average center height
The average NBA center height is a colossal 6 feet 11 inches, which is almost 7 feet tall. Given these stats, it’s no surprise that centers are the tallest and heaviest players on the court.
Now that you know the average height in the NBA for each position, let’s see how the average NBA height has changed over time. Have basketball players gotten shorter or taller?
How has the average height of an NBA player changed over the years?
Since the beginning of the NBA in 1949, the average basketball player height has increased fairly significantly from around 6’4 to over 6’6.
However, in recent times, it appears that NBA players are getting shorter, but not by a whole lot.
In the 2000s, the average height of an NBA player was around 6’7. But twenty years on, the average height in the NBA is only 6’6, a decrease of an entire inch. How is this possible?
One explanation is that basketball players are becoming more skillful, meaning that height—while undeniably important in the NBA—is secondary to skill.
Also, as testing standards become more precise and rigorous, basketball player heights may now be taken barefoot rather than in shoes, which naturally leads to a shorter measurement.
Does the NBA have a height requirement?
The National Basketball Association (NBA) doesn’t have a minimum height requirement, although being tall is obviously a big advantage in the sport of basketball.
You need to be skillful if you want to be a professional basketball player, something that height doesn’t guarantee.
While taller players may have an advantage, some shorter players may be able to compensate for their relative lack of stature by working harder and becoming more skillful.
What is the average high school basketball player height?
The average high school basketball player height is around 6 feet or 183 centimeters, but it can vary quite a lot by position.
For example, a high school point guard might be around 5 feet 10 inches tall, whereas a power forward could be 6 foot 3 or 6 foot 4.
College basketball players are naturally going to be a bit taller than high school basketball players as well.
Conclusion: Why is knowing the average basketball player height important?
Knowing the average basketball player height is important if you want to find out which basketball position is best for you.
For example, if you’re fairly short (for a basketball player) but have great ball-handling skills, you could be a point guard.
Of course, some of us are just curious. After all, it’s pretty amazing to know that the average NBA height is 9 inches greater than the stature of the average man.
So, while height isn’t everything, the 6 foot 6 NBA average height just goes to show that, as in the 50s, height is still a major advantage in professional basketball today.
- The Point Guard’s Responsibilities. (2017, November 29). ACTIVE.com. https://www.active.com/basketball/articles/the-point-guard-s-responsibilities-5
- Joseph, A. U. T. (2014, November 26). “3-and-D”: The specialist’s path to a long NBA career. USAToday. https://eu.usatoday.com/story/sports/nba/2014/11/26/three-and-d-specialists-kyle-korver-garrett-temple-martell-webster-willie-green-the-next-bruce-bowen/70123886/
- Rookie Road. (2023, February 4). Basketball Small Forward. https://www.rookieroad.com/basketball/player-positions/small-forward/
- The Ultimate Guide to Playing Power Forward. (n.d.). https://www.usab.com/youth/news/2011/06/the-ultimate-guide-to-playing-power-forward.aspx
- Lookabaugh, J. (2017, July 3). NBA History: The Five Greatest Centers of All Time. Bleacher Report. https://bleacherreport.com/articles/440180-the-five-greatest-centers-in-nba-history
- The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. (2023, February 2). National Basketball Association | History & Facts. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/National-Basketball-Association