Posted On: 10/31/17 6:51 PM

The center (C), also known as the five or the big man, is one of the five positions in a regular basketball game. The center is normally the tallest player on the team, and often has a great deal of strength and body mass as well. The tallest player to ever be drafted in the NBA was the 7’8″ (2.33 m) Yasutaka Okamaya from Japan. The tallest players to ever play in the NBA, at 7’7″ (2.31 m), are centers Gheorge Muresan and Manute Bol. Standing at 7’2″ (2.18 m), Margo Dydek is the tallest player to have ever played in the WNBA.

The center is considered a necessary component for a successful team, especially in professional leagues such as the NBA. But recently, the NBA has turned into a point guard league and many centers are shooting threes now. Great centers have been the foundation for most of the dynasties in both the NBA and NCAA. The 6’10” (2.08 m) George Mikan pioneered the Center position, shattering the widely held perception that tall players could not develop the agility and coordination to play basketball well, and ushering in the role of the dominant big man. He led DePaul University to the NIT title, then, after turning professional, won seven National Basketball League, and NBA Championship in his ten-year career (1946–56), nine of them with the Minneapolis Lakers. Using his height to dominate opposing players, Mikan invented the hook shot and the shot block; as a consequence, the NCAA, and later NBA, adopted the goaltending rule, and, in 1951, the NBA widened the foul lane, a decision known as the ‘Mikan rule’.]

Lets take a look at the top centers in Washington State:

Riley Sorn – 7’3 C Richland High School, Richland Wa scares the pants off of the opposing team. Most kids don’t get a chance to see somebody stand that tall and in front of the basket. He is an easy target. Riley is no oak tree. He is more like a fly swatter. He is relatively agile and understands his position and height and uses it to his advantage. Standing 7 feet 3 inches, Sorn is the tallest basketball player in the state of Washington. He has a great defensive presence, meeting lay ups and dunks at the rim for blocked shots. With his height and length alone, it will make shots harder for opposing player.

Dylan Sullivan – Walla Walla High School.  He is a strong athlete who powered his way to several buckets through traffic and some serious contact. He has the length and moves well off ball to get in good positions for easy dunks and layups already though. His defense has really catapulted him in the conversation as one of the better rim protectors. He has some meat but is very bouncy. So those 1st and 2nd shot attempts he can get to.

Christian Colewell – 6’7 with Lynden Christian. Christian will surprise a lot of people this grassroots season, as he continues to grow and develop. He is very athletic, finishing plays with aggressive dunks at the rim. He runs the floor well and can some what handle the ball. He is improving his handles and attacking the rim much better now. Defensively he can guard positions 3-5 but is better guarding in the paint because he has strength and the ability to.

Rainier Beach’s dominant post, Nehemie Kabeya is ready to pick up some offers. Standing 6’9, Kabeya has the size to play Division 1 basketball. He already has the size of a college post player. His strengths are his post defense, with his ability to block shots and rebound the ball. He really needs to work on his balance and foot work. Once he gains better foot work, he will be a huge threat in the paint offensively.

What is truly impressive, and necessary, is that Anton Watson is one of the few elite-level players coming out of Spokane in quite some time. It is imperative for the Zags, in the same way it is for most schools, to make sure they lock down their hometown heroes often, and early. Watson still has plenty of growing to do in his body, and he has plenty of time to do it as well. He stands at 6’7 already, and if he grows a couple of inches over the years, you can expect to see him slide over the power forward position. Watson projects as a ‘4’, or power forward, at Gonzaga. He has great instincts on the court and is a strong finisher. He plays primarily inside at Gonzaga Prep, which has placed third at state the last two seasons.