At a height of almost 2m, lofty Matthew Freeman cuts an intimidating figure on the basketball court.
But what makes the young Aucklander that much more special is the fact he is just 12 - and nowhere near finished growing.
Both his towering stature and whetted skill made him a standout player throughout the first day of the week-long boys' basketball tournament of the 2010 AIMS games at the Mount Action Centre yesterday.
More used to representing North Harbour at an Under 15s level, Matthew didn't mind captaining the squad from Kristin School in Albany - even though the next tallest teammate barely reached his shoulders.
His mum Louise Freeman, watching from the sideline, said his older brother George was also somewhat of a giant, measuring about the same height.
"I'm quite tall and my husband's also tall so I think it's the combination," she said.
"Matthew's been playing basketball for a few years now and just loves it. He's used to playing kids about 15 years old and they're a little taller at that age but here you can clearly see how he stands out."
Tournament co-ordinator Tricia Begley agreed.
"He's been turning heads all right. Sure, it's not uncommon to get basketballers who are tall but not at this age."
Tauranga basketball development officer Andy Mackay - whose brother Dave is eyeing Matthew for a spot in the New Zealand Breakers - said not only did Matthew possess the advantage of height, he could also run, dribble and shoot.
"He's got great skills, great co-ordination and he's head and shoulders above the next kid on the court," he said.
"Whether he can use that height to get his team through the tournament, we are yet to see."
Kristin School were beaten 56-25 by defending champions Cobham Intermediate yesterday morning but then went on to thump Tauranga's Oropi School by 62-14 in the afternoon.
More young Western Bay basketballers were set to go up against Matthew and his team this morning.
For more about the AIMS games including photos and results, see today's Bay of Plenty Times.