How High Could NBA Players Dunk?

How aggravating is it to watch an NBA player take a light jump 8 feet from the hoop, travel effortlessly through the air and deliver the ball to the net in one glorious motion, scoring an easy two points? You flip out in excitement and jealousy every time. They do it with ease, even finesse. All you can ever manage to do is brush the net when you jump next to it, even with a running head start. These athletes are skilled beyond all reason and it’s unfair to those of us under 6’6”. It makes you wonder sometimes, If some of these bigger athletes can reach a 10’ high hoop from 8’ away without breaking a sweat, how high would they have to jump to feel like you? Some statistics might give us a good idea.

Dwight Howard stands at an intimidating 6’11”. Standing flat footed, he can reach up to 9’2”. An easy 10” hop brings him to the rim. Another couple inches brings him above the hands of most defenders. On a day that he really pushes himself though, he can reach up to 12’6”. That means if you made a 12’ rim, he would still have 6” to spare as he went for two points. No wonder he’s been given the nickname superman.

Michael Jordan was truly a giant among men, and not necessarily because of his height. He stood at an average height of 6’6” (average for the NBA that is). He was renowned for his vertical leap. He could jump 44” into the air, powering him to do the iconic Air Jordan leap from the free throw line (just fyi, the free throw line stands 15 feet away from the hoop. Lay Shaq on the ground twice, head to foot, and try jumping that distance. Once you manage that, try reaching the hoop). But here is where it gets crazy, Jordan’s highest touch put him at 12’5”, just an inch below Howard!

Vince Carter is another 6’6” marvel. He keeps up with Howard at 12’6” as his highest touch.

So if Howard, Jordan and Carter were to play a game together, you could easily set the hoop at 12’4” and expect to see our favorite NBA stars give us a show.

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