Standing at a huge 7ft 1in tall, 17-year-old Brave Hunter Williams is hoping that his extreme height will help propel him to sporting stardom.
Thanks to his towering frame, this gentle giant attracts plenty of attention when he’s out and about in his hometown of Irving, New York.
Brave explains, ‘Well their first reaction is a little shocked that they’re seeing somebody this big, then they start asking questions like, ‘how tall are you? Are you really this tall?!’’
‘Then other people they’re like real rude about it. Like ‘holy hell how tall are you? You’re one big dude!’’
Brave and his family were first alerted to his extreme height when he was just a little boy, and become increasingly concerned the older – and taller – he got!
Brave says, ‘when I was 5-years-old I was like 5ft 3in. They thought I was actually a second grader so they put me in the second grade class for like an hour! By the time I was 10 I was like just hitting 6ft 6in.’
‘When I was younger the doctors thought I had gigantism and I got tested for it as I was growing up at an alarming rate.’
People suffering from gigantism often have severe health complications and a short life expectancy, so understandably Brave’s mum Angela Williams was extremely nervous as the family waited for Brave’s diagnosis.
She says, ‘Worrying about him having something like gigantism or anything was really tough. Finally getting the word that you’ve just got a tall kid was really relieving to say the least!’
Instead, the family now believes that Brave’s huge height comes from further up his family tree.
Brave says, ‘my great, great uncle he was 7ft 5in and he made a pine tree look like a sapling so I think that’s where I got most of my height from.’
Although his height is not worrying his doctors anymore, Brave’s towering physique still strikes fear into his opponents on the basketball court.
His cousin Shawn John explains, ‘the hardest thing about playing against Brave is his height. You don’t play against 7 footers very often – unless you’re in the NBA!’
‘He’s a big boy, all he’s got to do is just turn around and look at the basket and he just places it in – doesn’t even have to jump!’
Although it comes in handy when playing sport now, growing up tall did have its drawbacks for sensitive Brave.
He says, ‘growing up abnormally tall was a little bit rough. I tried hanging out with my friends and they’d have a swing set and I’d be like the size of a teenager trying to ride on a 5-year-old ride!’
‘I didn’t know my strength back then. My mum would always be like ‘calm down and don’t hit them too hard!’’
And despite being 7ft 1in already – Brave still isn’t done growing just yet!
Mum Angela says, ‘the doctors say my son’s gonna grow until he’s 21. Well he’s 7ft 1in now and 7ft 5in is the forecast. He is big, he is tall but he’s also very, very intelligent. He’s always on the honour roll or merit roll at the very least – and to tell you the truth he really doesn’t try that hard! ’
‘I’ve thought about my son being tall for a long time and I think there’s a reason because people should listen to him and him being that tall gets him noticed. I know he’s gonna do good things, I know he’s gonna do big, big things.’
Good luck Brave – we wish you all the best with what we think will be a very big sporting career!