Meet 7ft5 Olivier Rioux, Canadian NBA hopeful at IMG Academy who is officially tallest teenager in the world

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

The high-school sophomore from Quebec has been named by Guinness World Records as the tallest teenager in the world.

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Rioux towers over his coaches at the IMG Academy in FloridaCredit: Instagram @ olivier.rioux
The Canadian went viral when he was 6ft10 in an under-12s tournament

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The Canadian went viral when he was 6ft10 in an under-12s tournament
The prodigy met soccer star Sergio Ramos during his time at Real Madrid basketball

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The prodigy met soccer star Sergio Ramos during his time at Real Madrid basketballCredit: Instagram @ olivier.rioux
Rioux made the move from his native Quebec to Florida in summer 2021

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Rioux made the move from his native Quebec to Florida in summer 2021

The 16-year-old stands at an incredible 7ft5 (227cm) and currently attends sports-focused prep school IMG Academy in Florida.

And he has lofty ambitions of making it into the professional game, hoping to follow in the NBA footsteps of IMG alumni Trevon Duval and Jonathan Isaac.

Rioux was born in Montreal, Canada in 2006 and both his parents are way over six-feet tall.

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

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But there was no real indication from an early age that he would smash the 7ft barrier by the time he was just thirteen, with doctors originally believing he would top out around 6ft5.

They were emphatically wrong, with Olivier growing around 10cm every year – and he likely isn’t done yet.

Rioux recalls turning up for basketball games at the age of five and opponents questioning his real age due to his already impressive height.

Away from the game, the world’s tallest teenager does need a few minor adjustments to everyday living to keep things comfortable.

His parents had to modify their home to include higher tabletops and ceilings, while it’s a struggle to find sneakers to fit Olivier’s huge size-20 feet.

‘SO MANY QUESTIONS …’

And on a family trip to Cuba, stunned tourists queued up in the Rioux’s holiday resort just to get a photo with him.

It’s on court that Olivier has truly been noticed though, with his first taste of fame after going viral in 2018.

Then aged just twelve, he stood at a whopping 6ft10 as he played with French team Frenchy Phenoms against a bunch of Spanish pre-teens in an U12 tournament.

Rioux towered over the other kids, showing superb movement, shooting and dunking as his undoubted talent was viewed around the world.

NBA stars took note, with Steph Curry replying ‘So many questions …’ to the viral clip.

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

It was in Spain Rioux was pictured alongside soccer royalty, making then-Real Madrid star Sergio Ramos look like a child in an Instagram snap.

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

Lining up at center, he proved to be a hugely effective presence for his new team this season and will be hoping to catch the eye of D1 colleges.

‘A LOT OF POTENTIAL’

His athleticism and presence has impressed his coaches, as well as his ability to adapt to both on and off court.

Steffen Visk, assistant director of strength and conditioning at IMG, was instantly impressed by Rioux upon his arrival.

He said: “When I first met him, I though to myself ‘man, I hope this guy comes for the full-time year’.

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

“But seeing him move, learning how old his was, it was like woah, this young man has a lot of potential.”

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And despite Olivier growing so fast, his coaches have been stunned by how well he’s coped with the challenges this throws up.

Steffen continued: “[Olivier] grew really, really fast and part of that is you lose a lot of co-ordination.

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

Rioux took the title of world’s tallest teenager from Ren Keyu, who in 2020 was 15-year-old and 7ft3.

If he does make it all the way to the NBA, even at his current height Rioux would be joint-third tallest player of all time.

Gheorghe Muresan of Romania tops the charts of the tallest NBA players, with the former Bullet and Nets star a ginormous 7ft7.

The Canadian enjoyed spells playing in Spain before finding his place in Florida

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The Canadian enjoyed spells playing in Spain before finding his place in FloridaCredit: Instagram @ olivier.rioux
Rioux wants to emulate IMG alumni and reach the NBA

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Rioux wants to emulate IMG alumni and reach the NBACredit: Instagram @ olivier.rioux
The huge teenager is officially the tallest in the world

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The huge teenager is officially the tallest in the worldCredit: YouTube: IMG Academy
Rioux's family are all over 6ft tall, with his dad 6ft8 and brother 6ft9

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

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