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Syria's tallest man visited some of New Zealand's smallest at Willow Park Primary School on Auckland's North Shore today.

Wabaal Hamay is a member of the Syrian basketball team, which is in Auckland to compete in the FIBA under 19 men's tournament.

At just 18-years-old, Mr Hamay has size 18 feet and stands 229cm (7 feet 6 inches) high, making him the tallest player in the competition.

With team captain Azmi Abd Al Nour translating, Hamay said he likes being tall although finding a long enough bed can be difficult.

"It's a little short," he said of his Auckland bed.

His height is a family trait - both his uncle and grandfather were about 210cm tall.

While his size was a motivating factor when he took up basketball four years ago, Mr Hamay said he loves his game and would not have it any other way.

He is looking forward to the challenge of playing Spain, their first opponent, and Australia during the tournament.

The team were treated to a powhiri when they visited Willow Park Primary - the school which has adopted them.

Each of the 15 visiting teams have been "adopted" by an Auckland school who will go along to watch one of their games.

Willow Park pupil Bailey Smith, 9, was excited to meet the team and stunned by their height.

"I think it's really cool that we get to see them," He said.

"They had to duck down to even get through the door."

The tournament begins on Thursday and runs until July 12.

Games will be held at the North Shore Events Centre and the ASB Stadium.