I’m 6’8″ and I don’t play basketball

Jessica Kantor | Staff Writer

Junior Matt Benton walks the halls at six feet eight inches tall, and no: he doesn’t play basketball.

He did, however, play basketball when he was in seventh grade. One season proved, Benton said, that basketball was definitely not the sport for him.

“I played [basketball] in seventh grade,” Benton said. “I decided to play because of pressure from teachers and coaches. After playing a whole season, I realized they just wanted me to play because of my height, and I didn’t like it much.”

Benton said he chose another sport to play that depended less on his height and more on his ability.

“I play baseball now,” Benton said. “I like [baseball]…When I was playing basketball, I didn’t enjoy it.”

Benton said that while he understands where the stereotype of tall people playing basketball comes from, he does not agree with it.

“I can understand why people [make the stereotype] that all tall people play basketball,” Benton said. “But that doesn’t mean it’s fair. Tall people do not always enjoy basketball.”

Benton said he was one of those players that did not enjoy the sport despite his natural advantage. He said he noticed the judgment passed most by his peers on the court.

“Coaches and basketball players probably make that judgment the most,” Benton said. “They know that it helps to be tall and play basketball.”

Benton said that he sees other people passing judgments on tall people as well.

“People’s first impression of me is probably affected [because of my height],” Benton said. “After that, they get used to it. The first impression is usually just, ‘Wow, he’s tall.’”

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