Star basketball players, with the exception of some sharpshooters like J.J. Reddick, tend to have extremely long arms, even relative to their famously tall heights. Long limbs are good for dissipating heat in the tropics.
But why don’t Polynesians, such as Samoans, who are vastly overrepresent in American football, have long arms?
Does it help to paddle a canoe to have long or short arms? My guess is that Polynesians have gone through a number of genetic bottlenecks in which their ancestors were strong enough to paddle hard enough to complete some staggeringly long sea voyage.
Here’s an interesting Twitter thread on this topic:
I think this question has been answered by Philip Houghton at Otago, who noticed that Polynesians don't fit into Allen's rule of limb proportions: they should be long armed to dissipate tropical heat, but instead they seem to have some of the shortest limbs outside the Eskimo.
— Uriah (@crimkadid) May 25, 2020
Read the whole thing there.
The author goes on to suggest an example of parallel evolution for short-armed strength on the other side of the world.