A GIANT former national-level basketballer with strong links to Richmond is on AFL clubs' radar as a Category B rookie.

Mate Colina is Tigers defender Noah Balta's cousin and also knows the club's ruck coach and ex-player Ivan Maric and ruckman Ivan Soldo.

ON THE MOVE? Clubs circling flag Tiger understands Richmond is one of several clubs that have shown interest in Colina, who's been playing division-one basketball at the University of Hawaii.

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Colina, who is seven-foot tall, or 213cm, was part of the same Australian under-17 basketball squad as Brisbane forward Tom Fullarton and ex-Eagle Patrick Bines in 2016.

The 21-year-old could become the tallest player to ever appear in an AFL game if he signs a deal, edging out Collingwood's Mason Cox and ex-Docker Aaron Sandilands, who are both 211cm.

It wouldn't be the first time the Tigers have taken a punt on transforming a basketballer into a ruckman via a family connection.

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Soldo, who played soccer and basketball as a teenager, had never played football before Maric convinced his cousin and Richmond six years ago that he had a future in the AFL.

He's now a premiership player and the Tigers' No.1 ruckman.

Colina has at least played some junior football, at Essendon Doutta Stars, where Balta was a teammate.

Balta is enjoying a breakout season in defence for Richmond this year, with coach Damien Hardwick saying on multiple occasions he reminds him of a young Alex Rance.