Playing basketball does not make a person taller. A 2009 study in Economic & Human Biology found that up to 80 percent of a person's height is controlled by genetic factors.
Environmental factors account for the remaining 20 percent of influence on a person's adult height. Molecular biologist Chao-Qiang Lai says that nutrition is the biggest external environmental factor. A child who does not receive proper nourishment while growing is unlikely to reach his genetic potential. On the other hand, a child who is properly nourished may end up taller than either of his parents, especially if his parents had substandard nutrition when they were young.