Chol Marial: The 8th Grade Baller That’s Over 7 Feet Tall

Chol Marial easily eclipses his teammates on his school’s basketball team. That’s because he’s 7 ft 3 inches tall and already has a dunking ability that could rival the NBA’s finest players.

He plays with West Oaks (Florida) High School’s varsity team and he reportedly has a 7’11” wingspan, says Bleacher Report. Despite his impressive height, Marial is surprisingly fluid and agile on the court, running circles around his opponents and deftly blocking shots like he’s swatting flies out of the air. To put it mildly, the kid’s got game.

Marial was born in South Sudan and migrated to the United States with his family. According to his bio on Men’s Basketball, he was the U16 national team starter in South Sudan and was the leading rebounder and shot blocker in the U16 international East Africa Friendly Tournament in Kenya.

He was on the 2014 All-Star Team (Middle East & North Africa) in the MENA Basketball Showcase and was selected to participate in 2013 NBA/FIBA Basketball Without Borders Africa in South Africa.

After videos of him dominating his teenage opponents made the rounds on the interwebs, it’s easy to claim that his height made it unfair for him to play against other 14- or 15-year-olds.

That would be true if Chol’s only weapon on the court was his height. But his skill with the ball proves otherwise.

“The argument might be valid if Chol was a sloppy player, but that isn’t the case at all.” wrote another NBA footer, Shaquille O’Neil on his blog. “For his size, he moves with grace and ease, and shows a lot of finesse with his control of the ball and jump shot. He shows intellect in his defensive abilities and is able to absolutely dominate in the paint, whether snatching boards down or stylishly dunking the ball.”

Shaq had these parting words of wisdom for anyone who may be doubting Marial’s future in the game.

“Keep your eyes on this one. Chol Marial is a complete monster on the court. You had better hope you have a solid game if you plan on toppling this giant any time soon.”

We couldn’t agree more. Shaq’s blog may have gotten him into trouble before but he’s right about this one.

Expect to see Chol Marial in the NBA in a couple of years and cast a long shadow in the game’s history books.