Ryan Satin’s latest guest on his Out Of Character podcast for FOX Sports is WWE’s current giant, former Raw Tag Team champion Omos.
As you might expect about a Superstar billed at seven feet, three inches tall, some of the most fascinating bits are about Omos’ height. He broke down how he grew during his pubescent years:
“When I was 11, I was about 6’ 1”. By the time I was 13, I was 6’ 3″. By the time I was 15, I was 6’ 11”.”
Awe-inducing, but not surprising. You don’t get to seven feet without some big growth spurts. What is surprising are the things he was diagnosed with while playing basketball in college (under his real name Tolulope ”Jordan” Omogbehin, the Nigerian-born Omos played for University of South Florida and Morgan State University) that revealed why he was so big, and how he learned about them.
“My coach said to me, ‘I don’t know who this guy is, but it seems like he’s a very high up guy on the campus. I want you to look at his email.’ So I read it and he just stated that, ‘Hey, I noticed that one of your guys has a tumor by the side of his face. He has a pituitary tumor and needs to get checked out ASAP.’
“I’m reading this email, like, ‘No way, I am fine.’ I looked at my coaches and I said, ‘I don’t think I have anything but hey, I’m gonna do it just so I can have peace of mind.’
“The next Wednesday they set up an MRI appointment. The MRI takes about a couple of days [for results to come back]. That following Monday, I came to practice. I go to the trainer’s room. They said to go upstairs to the coach’s office. I walked into the coach’s office and there was the President of the University and all the doctors from the office were there.
“They said, ‘So this is an MRI right here of your brain. Do you see that little speck right there? You have a brain tumor. We don’t know whether it’s benign or it’s a cancerous tumor, and we’re going to have to figure out how to deal with this.’
“Literally a month after the MRI, I had the surgery and they had to go through my nose. It was very, very traumatic... But in the process of doing the testing, they found that not only do I have the pituitary tumor, I had gigantism, I had partial Cushing’s disease [a condition where the the adrenal glands overproduce cortisol] which is very rare... There’s different forms of large human beings, but it’s like different variations, and I had all three combinations — Andre [The Giant] had acromegaly, which is one of them. And I have that. But I had the other three combined with it, so my case was very, very unique. It was the first time in medical history they’d seen someone with all three together. I became this sort of anomaly in the medical world... I had a journal published about me — about my case.”
Omos goes on to talk about a second surgery he had a year later. The surgeries still don’t regulate his hormones, so he takes medicine to this day to keep from growing. He also discovered that the pituitary tumor was the cause of blackouts he had as a child, and that he could have lost his sight completely if his coach at USF hadn’t gotten that email.
It’s a wild story. Check it out on Out of Character here.