A FORMER NBA star and the tallest man in Britain visited a Bradford school this week.

Paul Sturgess, who stands at 7ft 7ins tall, wears size 19 shoes, and used to turn out for the Harlem Globetrotters, delighted children at Whetley Academy, in Whetley Lane, Girlington on Wednesday.

The ex-professional basketball player has visited more than 400 schools across the country to deliver his “Paul Sturgess Wow Basketball Days” and has already been at another Delta Academies Trust school – Wybers Wood, in Grimsby.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Former NBA star Paul Sturgess with a Whetley Academy teacherFormer NBA star Paul Sturgess with a Whetley Academy teacher (Image: Whetley Academy)

Sturgess, who began playing the sport when he was 14 and received a full basketball scholarship at Florida Institute of Technology University after completing his A-levels, gave a talk at the school, focusing on using what is unique about you to thrive.

He also ran basketball sessions for both children and adults alike throughout the day.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Paul Sturgess overlooking a basketball drill at Whetley AcademyPaul Sturgess overlooking a basketball drill at Whetley Academy (Image: Whetley Academy)

A spokesperson for Whetley Academy said: “Whetley were lucky enough to have a visit from ex-England and Harlem Globetrotter Basketball Star - Paul Sturgess.

“Paul spoke to the children about life as a 7ft 7 man. He spoke really positively about using our differences to our advantage and that being different should be seen as a positive.

“This is a message similar to what we instil at our very diverse school.

“We celebrate our diversity and focus on positives that bring us closer as a school.

“Children and adults were able to take part in basketball sessions during the day and take some photos with the Guinness World Record Holder.

“Paul spoke about how much he loves visiting different schools across the country and tries to make a difference in each one he attends.

“The visit will no doubt be a long-lasting memory for all of our children.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A basketball drill run by Paul SturgessA basketball drill run by Paul Sturgess (Image: Whetley Academy)

Sturgess was drafted by the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters in August 2011 and travelled the world performing basketball exhibitions under the nickname “Tiny”.

He was officially recognised as the “Tallest Professional Basketball Player” by the Guiness World Records in November of that year.

Sturgess came back to England in 2014, joining Chesire Phoenix in the British Basketball League, before going back to the Globetrotters in 2017 and then returning to England after that to pursue an acting career.

The basketball star has appeared on a number of TV shows, including This Morning, as well as hitting the big screens in films such as Avatar 2, Lord of the Rings and Fantastic Beasts.