The one thing in Geneva, Ohio that can perhaps rival the magnitude of LaMelo Ball's personality is his 7'7" teammate, Robert Bobroczkyi.
The one thing at Spire Institute that can perhaps rival the magnitude of LaMelo Ball's personality and recent addition is the size of his new teammate, Robert Bobroczkyi.
(Note: Bobroczkyi is the proper spelling of his name; Bobroczky is the Americanized form of his name. For accuracy, we're using the former.)
At 17 years old, Bobroczkyi, who's Romanian, currently stands 7'7", the same height that the tallest recorded players in NBA history, Manute Bol and Gheorghe Mursean, once played at.
Bobroczkyi's father, Zsiga, who's 7'1", played professional basketball in Romania, and his mother is 6'0". (Interestingly enough, Bobroczkyi's father also played basketball for the Romanian national team alongside Mursean.) Thus, Bobroczkyi has had tremendous height throughout his entire life.
According to a profile by the Washington Post's Roman Stubbs, Bobroczyki was 6'2" at eight years old. At 12, he was taller than his father and stood 7'2", and when he was 13, he was 7'3". Doctors didn't know when he would stop growing! (Fortunately, serious growth disorders were ruled out.)
Bobroczkyi's stature is something that's made him a medical curiosity in addition to a viral internet sensation. In fact, Bobby Bossman, the director of Spire Academy, found Bobroczkyi by stumbling across a YouTube video of a then-13-year-old, 7'3" Bobroczkyi playing for Italian amateur club A.S. Stella Azzura. It's the same team that Andrea Bargnani, the No. 1 pick of the 2006 NBA draft, played for.
In 2016, Bobroczkyi arrived at Spire, and the academy developed unique facets to account for his great height. There are heightened tables, workout routines and living accommodations created especially for Bobroczkyi.
Bobroczkyi's goal is to bulk up so that he can play for longer stretches of time and enable himself to operate against opponents in the low-post. He told WaPo that he dreams of playing professionally, but for now is only playing light minutes until his conditioning improves.
“If I make it, my whole country would be proud," Bobroczkyi said. "Everyone would know me, and it would be a reason to be proud."
And there's clear potential for someone touting the type of length Bobroczkyi possesses.
Here's highlights of him playing at 15 years old.
Here's video of his Spire debut.
There's also this video of him outshooting his coaches.
So, yes, LaMelo Ball and the global intrigue that's followed him from Chino Hills, Calif., to Lithuania and now Ohio, will surely have a presence when Spire takes the court this season. But let's not overlook the player who could potentially be set on making NBA history in a few years for his magnificent stature—if you find a way to somehow overlook him, that is.