Meet the 7ft man who grew up on an estate and was scouted to play professional basketball in the US

Meet the 7ft man who grew up on a council estate and says his height 'changed his life' when he was scouted to play professional basketball in the US. Theo Turner, 28, was always bigger than average and towered over his classmates at school. At the age of 11 he was already 6ft and donning size 11 shoes. Self-conscious of his height, growing up Theo walked around like a 'hunchback' in an attempt to look smaller. By the age of 16 he was 6ft 8ins and by the age of 22 he reached a whopping 7ft. Sporty Theo started playing basketball when he was 16 and was quickly scouted by an American team. He received a scholarship aged 18 to play in the highest college division - division one of the NCAA for Seattle University in Seattle, Washington, US. Now he is trying to inspire other tall people to embrace their height and chase their goals after returning home to coach basketball and play for the Teesside Lions in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire. Theo, a basketball player from Middlesborough, North Yorkshire, said: "Ever since I was a baby, I've been massive. "My mum is 5ft 10ins and my dad is 6ft 5ins. "I'm from the North and stood out because of it. I used to be self-conscious and walk around like a hunchback. "Before starting basketball, boxing was my main sport, but I tried out basketball when I was 16 at college. "I was then scouted by a coach who said, 'you need to come to our club' - and it just grew from there." When he was 18, Theo claims his life changed forever after he moved over to Seattle, Washington, US, to play in the college basketball league on a full scholarship. He said: "When it came down to it, I was very nervous - it was daunting. "I had the best time in my life. "I come from a council estate in Middlesbrough and moved to Seattle, it was a surreal experience. "It was mad with my accent at first, they couldn't understand me - I had to slow things down and speak clearly." After two years in Seattle and graduating in 2018, he transferred to play for Barry University in Miami, Florida, US. On the basketball court, Theo plays as a centre, he said: "I do all the dirty work. "I rebound, run up and down and stay underneath the basket because people know I can just drop it in." Off the basketball court, people are intrigued by his tall stature, and he has started to document what his life is like 'up there'. He added: "People always ask 'how tall are you?', 'do you play basketball?', 'what's the weather like up there?'" The struggles of being so tall include his feet hanging at the end of the bed and not fitting into his car very well. But soaring above everyone else means he can grab items from the supermarket top shelves with ease. After leaving Miami in 2020, he played for the German basketball league and returned home in 2021. He said: "I now play for the Teesside Lions, and I get the chance to coach, which I absolutely love. "I don't know where I would be without basketball. "I want to help other people who are young and tall be proud of it, embrace it and own it."