Who is Sun MingMing?
Sun MingMing is a former basketball player and actor, perhaps best recognized as the tallest basketball player, measured by Guinness World Records. During his career he played for a number of teams, including the Dodge City Legend of the US Basketball League. He was born under the Zodiac sign Virgo on 23 August 1983, in Bayan County, Harbin, China. As of 2021, he is 38 years old and holds Chinese nationality.
Early Life, Family, and Education
Nothing is known about his parents and any siblings. Sun was born into a lower-class family who struggled financially; growing up, he didn’t have proper health care, but his unusual height didn’t alienate him from his friends and family.
According to reports, he didn’t have much interest in basketball, and was 15 when he first gave it a shot, at the time already 7 ft (2.13m) tall.
After his formative years, he continued to grow to everyone’s surprise, which prompted him to visit a doctor and get to the bottom of his strange height. Following the examination, the doctor established that he had a benign tumor attached to his pituitary gland in the center of his brain, which caused the gland to release high levels of growth hormone during its development. He had a condition called acromegaly, a hormonal disorder, which causes the body to produce too much growth hormone, leading to abnormally large hands and feet. Following the diagnosis, he traveled to Los Angeles to meet the surgeon, Hrayr Shahinian, of the Skull-Based Institute, to discuss his treatment.
Given that he had no insurance or financial means to pay the $100,000 in medical bills for the surgery, his sports agent Avery Low launched a fundraising campaign to raise the money. Luckily for Ming, the operation went well, and Sun was able to begin his career as a basketball player. Interestingly, if the tumor had not been removed, it would have posed serious problems health-wise for Sun in the future. After the operation, he stayed in the US and enrolled at the Ventura College in California, where he played for the college basketball team in the season 2005-2006.
Adamant in pursuing his dream, he stepped up his career by joining the National Basketball Association (NBA), however, he was never drafted.
Following this disappointing turn of events, he tried his luck playing with several American minor league teams. He kicked off his career playing for the United States Basketball League (USBL) team Dodge City Legend, switching teams for a while, joining the Maryland Nighthawks of the American Basketball Association, which is a semi-professional minor league. Later, he played for the Grand Rapids Flight of the International Basketball League (IBL). In 2007 he became the tallest player ever to be drafted by Harlem Globetrotters. However, he never officially played on the team.
He started to explore other possibilities, and switched to the Mexican team Fuerza Regia, the Monterrey-based professional basketball club.
Despite high hopes and expectations, he returned to Grand Rapids Flight. Reportedly, he sustained several injuries while playing for the teams, which steered his career path. He then moved on to the Japanese team, Hamamatsu, and played with them for a yea, but following his low per-game averages of 7.7 points and 5.7 rebounds, in 2009, he returned to his home country, China.
Having his dreams crushed of ever playing in the NBA, he joined the Beijing Ducks in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA).
It turned out that was the right move for Sun, who finally landed his 15 minutes of fame as he won two CBA championships playing with the team, in 2012 and 2014. During his five-year career with the Ducks, he posted some career-high stats in a CBA game, which included scoring eight points in a road loss 93-66 against the Tianjin Pioneers in 2011, and grabbing nine rebounds against Zhejiang Lions in 2012, which they lost 114-94.
Sun also dipped his toes into the entertainment business, landing several roles. In 2006 he appeared as a guest on the well-known show “Jimmy Kimmel Live”, and made an appearance in the documentary movie “Anatomy of a Giant”. The following year, he portrayed a Kung-Fu giant in the action/comedy “Rush Hour 3” opposite Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker.
In the following period, he focused on his basketball career, but in 2016 he returned to the screen as Hong Hou, the recurring character, in the Chinese streaming series entitled “Candle in the Tomb”. During the same year, he landed a minor role in the Chinese series “Singing All Along”. In 2017, Sun starred in the fantasy film “The Thousand Faces of Dunjia, while his latest acting role was in 2018, when he appeared in the romantic movie “Miss Puff”.
While his previous dating history remains a mystery, since 2013 he’s been married to Xu Yan, the professional handball player in the National Games of China.
The couple met in 2009, and shortly afterwards began a romantic relationship. The couple married in Beijing, China, on 4 August 2013, and immediately made history as the tallest living married couple. Considering his wife is 6ft 2ins tall (185cm), their height combined amounts to 13ft 10.72ins (423cm)
What is his net worth?
According to the latest reports, his estimated net worth is around $2million, acquired largely through his career as a professional basketball player, and from appearing in a number of movies over the years, which definitely contributed to his wealth.
Physical stats and Trivia
Sun is now 7ft 9ins tall (236cm) and weighs around 370lbs (168kgs). His hair is black and his eyes brown. He wears a shoe size 20.
In 2014, Sun had the opportunity to meet the famous actor and former World Wrestling Entertainment star, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and took a photo together, which invited a hail of comments. It was both hilarious and interesting how the former wrestler, known as one of the bulkier Hollywood stars, seemed so small compared to the towering Sun. The two also formed a friendship, and Dwayne congratulated Sun on his marriage to Xu Yan via a heartwarming Instagram post that reads: “This makes me happy, my 7’9’’ Chinese brother just got married. How awesome is that?”
It appears that Sun doesn’t like to share his private information on social media and hence doesn’t use Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.