He’s presumably the tallest person in San Antonio and no, he doesn’t play for the San Antonio Spurs. At 7-foot-4, Jay Middleton, or “Stretch” as he’s known to many, traveled the world as a Harlem Globetrotter.
And when not part of the show, he’s called San Antonio home for the last eight years. So when he’s out in public, he’s often asked if he does play for the Spurs.
“All the time. All the time. It’s like ‘the Spurs need you.’ Most people know I’m a Globetrotter,” Jay said.
And that’s just one of the many questions Jay gets. About 40, to 50 times a day he says that people will ask him how tall he is. And then, there’s the constant stares.
“I don’t really pay attention to it because it’s so normal. And then, the only time I notice is when they start pulling out their cameras,” Jay noted.
Jay grew up in Los Angeles and was about 6’3 as a teenager. That was until he grew about eight inches during one summer.
“It was frustrating because I woke up hitting my head on the door. It was difficult, like, finding clothes, finding beds to fit in,” Jay recalled.
Because of his late growth spurt, he didn’t start playing basketball until the age of 17 after a coach noticed him painting the trim of a building without using a ladder.
“He’s like, ‘You should come play’ and I was like, ‘No, I don’t want to do that.’ He said, ‘What if I give you four pairs of Jordans?’”
And now, at 33 years old, Jay is training to get back into competitive basketball. He will soon leave San Antonio to play professionally for about a month in China, where, believe it or not, he draws even more attention.
“They think I’m Michael Jordan,” Jay laughed.
Ultimately, Jay said that he could see himself permanently calling San Antonio home, but his tall journey is far from over.
When asked if he sees his height as a blessing, Jay said, “Yes, it’s a blessing. It’s a nice blessing. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
Aside from playing pro basketball, Jay is working hard as a businessman. He’s partnered with the company Safe Lace, which makes a product that allows people ensure that their shoelaces never come untied. Jay said that he fell in love with the product when coaching youth basketball camps. For more information on Safe Lace, click here.