Assortative Mating, Heredity, And Tall Jock Moms
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Earlier: Yao Ming: Successful Eugenics Experiment

In the NCAA basketball final game on Monday, 7’4″ 300-lb. Zach Edey of Purdue goes up against 7′2″ 265-pound Donovan Clingan of Connecticut. These are two old-fashioned centers who don’t shoot much outside 3 feet from the basket.

Edey, who averaged 25 points per game this year and 28 in the first five post-season games, is in his fourth year at Purdue. He has been downplayed by NBA scouts his whole college career as not mobile enough to guard 3-point shooting big men in the pros. But he’s extremely effective in college.

Clingan is white and Edey is half white-half Chinese (he looks rather like similar sized Yao Ming). Both their mothers played basketball: Clingan’s late mom was 6’4″ and Edey’s Chinese mom is 6’3″.

It seems clearly more common these days than a couple of generations ago for huge jocks to have moms who also played a college sport. Obviously, that’s at least in part because more women played college sports in 2002 than in 1962.

But it’s also an interesting question whether there is more assortative mating for sports experience nowadays. I first started reading about famous jock husbands and wives a few decades ago, and it seemed like they had a lot to talk about.

But I don’t know how to measure this.

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