By Pat Gallen


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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) – A local high school player is head and shoulders above the rest, literally. The local student-athlete has grown on and off the court immensely during his high school career.

He’s grown so much that he’s taller than Joel Embiid and is thriving in the classroom on his way to a major D-1 program.

At Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, Naheem McLeod, also known as Big Duke, is the big man on campus.

“I’m 7-3-and-a-half, listed at 7-4,” said McLeod.

With a long, solid frame and size 19 shoe, Naheem towers over classmates and the competition, which he was born to do.

“I have a mom that’s 5-5 and I have a dad that’s 7-5,” said McLeod. “He’s a little bit taller than me and I still look him in his eyes sometimes, so it’s kinda cool.”

Big Duke also has a big family, including a hoops-playing sister who is 6 feet 8 inches tall.

Using that height, Naheem has dominated.

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Despite being 7-foot-4, he’s still got plenty of room to grow.

The kid who has the nickname Big Duke, because of his love of Duke Basketball, is heading to a rival school next year.

The future Florida State University big man knows he won’t be able to root for Duke after this season ends.

“I can’t man, we in the same conference,” McLeod told CBS3’s Pat Gallen.

Naheem’s coach, Jim Donofrio, says there’s a reason why he’s going to a D-1 school – he’s relentless.

“It’s not just about being 7-foot-4,” said Donofrio. “You don’t get to be first team All-State or offers from FSU if you aren’t putting the work in. And he quietly puts the work in.”

He put some work in on Pat Gallen in a quick game of C-B-S.

Naheem looks ready for the next step, but he just wants to send this final message – “Hey mom!”