Just last night, a diminutive friend told me he always held out hope he'd get his growth spurt. Even in college, when most of us are finished growing, he thought he might catch a late run. "I always thought I'd be 6-foot-1, 6-foot-2," said friend said. "Even as a junior in college." It didn't happen. He's about 5-foot-9.
While I didn't want to insult my friend, the idea of a late-college growth spurt struck me as inherently silly, a blind hope in the face of overwhelming physical data. Getting taller at 21? That doesn't really happen, does it?
Apparently it does. Florida forward Chandler Parsons is already plenty tall -- he stood 6-foot-9 as a junior last season -- but he told Gary Parrish that he's pretty sure he's still growing. To wit:
"They measured me and I was 6-foot-9 barefoot, and I used to be 6-9 with shoes on," Parsons said by phone Wednesday. "So I'm pretty sure I'm about 6-10, 225 pounds now with shoes."
Parsons has already grown since his high school days -- he measured 6-foot-8 and 180 pounds as a recruit -- so maybe he's just going to grow forever. By next summer, when it's time to start thinking about the NBA, he could be 6-foot-11. After that, seven feet. He'll grow one inch for each year of his NBA career. By the time he's 50, he'll be the largest man in the world, and we'll all look back fondly and remember when a productive and versatile Florida wing mused about his quirky late-college growth spurt.
Or Parsons will stop growing soon. Either or. Fortunately for him, 6-foot-10 is plenty tall for a guy with a soft outside touch. The Guinness Book of World Records can wait.