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The Talon

The Talon

A tall tale

The story about 7-foot tall AHS sophomore Max Allison
Nolan McNulty
Sophomore Max Allison stands at 7-feet tall next to 6-foot tall junior Ryan Tomlinson.

At Ankeny High School (AHS), some of the tallest heads in the hallway stop around 6-foot-5. That is, until you see 7-foot tall sophomore Max Allison, ducking under the doorframes to get around the building.

Allison has always been taller than others his whole life. However, in 2021, he grew six inches from his eight grade year to his ninth grade year. But it did not stop there. That same year at the start of his freshman year, he grew another six inches until his sophomore year where he now stands at an astounding 7-feet.

Some people think being this tall has to have many benefits. But no one considers the negatives more than the positives. Max stated some of his easier things to do, versus the more challenging ones.

Infographic made by Ryan Tomlinson using Canva

A normal day for Allison is doing his favorite things. Allison starts most of his days at 4:30 a.m. to play local pickup basketball at the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) campus. After he is done playing, he freshens up before he goes to school from 8 a.m. to 3:40 p.m., where he then attends school basketball practice during the season. After his one-and-a-half-hour school practice, he goes home shortly before going to his club basketball practice from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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Allison has been playing basketball for a very long time, but he did not start as just a basketball player. The height truly does help when playing some sports, but Allison learned to play other sports before his growth spurts began.

“I have played a lot of sports in the past. I played flag football. I raced sailboats. I practice track, but I don’t run meets,” Allison said. “I ran cross country. I did rugby for a week and lacrosse for a week.” 

For Allison, height does in fact run in the family. His sister, who is a freshman at Southview Middle School, is 6-feet, and his other sister is in fifth grade and is above average height for her age. It seems the most common question Allison and his sisters are asked is, “How tall are you?”

On paper, 7-feet tall is abnormal. However, students, teachers, and faculty underestimate how much Allison is compared to an average high schooler.

Max Allison towers over the rest of the Ankeny Hawk basketball team at Wells Fargo. (Ava Gifford)

With Allison being 7-feet, this makes him within the top 0.000038 percent of the world for height. For one in 2.6 million people, there is roughly one person that is 7-feet tall or above. For the 2,800 people in the world like Allison, they all share the same advantages and disadvantages. Many doorways have been hit, many cramped knees in cars and public places, and heads poking out over the top of crowds.

Allison wants to continue playing basketball beyond high school and maybe even make it to the National Basketball Association (NBA).

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About the Contributors
Ryan Tomlinson
Ryan Tomlinson, Staff Reporter
Ryan Tomlinson is a junior at Ankeny High School who is involved in baseball, track and field, show choir, concert choir, Key Club, and FBLA. Ryan works in the social media field of The Talon and looks forward to Advanced Journalism. In the future, Ryan looks to major in sports communication. A fun fact about Ryan is he loves to swim anytime, anywhere.
Nolan McNulty
Nolan McNulty, Staff Reporter
Nolan McNulty is a junior at Ankeny High School. In his free time, Nolan likes to hang out with his friends and family, watch movies, and lift weights. He plans on going to the University of Iowa after high school. A fun fact about Nolan is that he enjoys listening to rap music.
Ava Gifford
Ava Gifford, Staff Reporter
Ava Gifford is a Junior at Ankeny High School. She is involved in Key Club and writing sports stories for the Talon. Ava is involved as a leader in her youth group, enjoys photography, writes music, and plays the piano and guitar. One fun fact about Ava is that her favorite season is fall because she loves when the leaves start to change and when it’s time for apple cider.
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