Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sinkhole Vertical Leaps

Welcome "vertical leap" and "vertical jump" google searchers. If you are looking for a one-stop shopping list of some of the best vertical leapers and the answer to the question "how high can so-and-so jump," you've come to the right place. Before you leave, don't forget to check out the rest of the blog. It is a bit fantasy baseball focused, but perhaps you'll find something else fun to read. A recent post on the 2009 Slam Dunk contestants might be of interest.

Dwight Howard, who made the only memorable 2007 slam dunk contest dunk when he placed a sticker at the very top of the backboard before dunking, now has a video circulating on YouTube in which he kisses the rim before dunking.

After witnessing Dwight pucker up and kiss rim in mid-flight, I decided to catalogue as many vertical leaps as possible here in this post. I have listed the vertical leaps of a handful of athletes, but please remember that these are only ballpark figures. In the same way that many 5’11” basketball players are listed in programs as being 6’2”, accurate vertical numbers can be hard to obtain.

Note: A true vertical is measured from a standing jump. I assume that these figures were taken when these players were in their prime. I highly doubt that Kemp could jump out of a shoebox lid these days.

UPDATE: 2/9/09: Take these numbers with a grain of salt. As someone mentioned in the comment section, sometimes people like to use the running vert because it is higher, but a true vert is a standing vert. All the numbers below are supposed to be standing verts, but again, many of these numbers are more marketing than reality. Oh, and Lionel Marshall supposedly has a 50 inch vert, as this youtube clip shows. Sounds like a running vert to me, but the guy can clearly fly.

Oh, and if you're using these numbers to win a bet, I'm not sure this clinches it for you. I mean, seriously. This is a random blog quoting random sources from around the net, right? Heh, heh. Busted.

• 6’11” Dwight Howard: 38-40 inch vert, 12’6” jumping reach, 9'3 1/2 standing reach
• 6’8” 2007 NBA All Star Slam Dunk Champion Gerald Green: 46 to 48-inch vert
• 7’0” Andrew Bogut: 28-inch vert, can touch 9’2” while standing flatfooted
• Andre Iguodala 34-inch vert
• 6’7” Marvin Williams: 29-inch vert, has a wingspan of 7’3”
• 6’2” shooting guard Troy Bell: 41-inch vert
• Andre Iguodala: 34-inch vert
• J.J. Redick: 33-inch vert
• Vince Carter: 43-inch vert, 8'11" standing reach, 12'6" jumping reach
• Karl Malone: 28-inch vert, 9'2" standing reach, 11'6" jumping reach
• Shaq: 32-inch vert, 9'8" standing reach, 12'4" jumping reach
• Kobe Bryant: 38-inch vert, 8'10" standing reach, 12'0" jumping reach
• Steve Francis: 43-inch vert, 8'5" standing reach, 12'3" jumping reach
• Antonio McDyess: 42-inch vert
• Allen Iverson: 41-inch vert
• Shawn Kemp: 40-inch vert (Seattle)
• Rex Chapman: 39-inch vert
• Desmond Mason: 38-inch vert
• Lamar Odom: 32-inch vert
• Michael Jordan: 48-inch vert (Chicago), 8'10" standing reach, 12'5" jumping reach
• Dominique Wilkins: 42-inch vert, 9'0" standing reach, 12'6" jumping reach
• Larry Bird: 28-inch vert, 9'1" standing reach, 11'5" jumping reach
• Dr. J: 41-inch vert, 8'11" standing reach, 12'4" jumping reach
• Spudd Webb: 46-inch vert, 7'4" standing reach, 11'2" jumping reach
• Daryl Dawkins: 34-inch vert, 9'4" standing reach, 12'2" jumping reach
• Dee Brown: 44-inch vert
• Harold Miner: 44-inch vert
• Larry Nance: 40-inch vert
• Ralph Sampson: 36-inch vert
• Magic Johnson: 30-inch vert

Other High Vertical Leaps (Non-NBA)
• 5’10” Kadour Ziani (slamnation): 60-inch vert
• Michael Wilson (Globetrotters): 51-inch vert
• Reggie Thompson (Jumpsoles): 56-inch vert
• Ronnie Fields (CBA): 48-inch vert
• Melvin Levett: 45-inch vert
• A Zombie: 0-inch vert
• Me: at least a 13-inch vert (I can reach 7'5" and I just touched my 8'6" ceiling)

• Randy Moss: 51-inch vert
• Jevon Kearse 265 lbs: 40-inch vert

• Brandon Dean: 39-inch vert

UPDATE 3/11/09: Anon is the comments section gave a good tip. Check out this "Golden Child" of TFB dunking here. He's got a strange dunking style, almost like he's too high and has to dunk the ball down from too far up...he looks like he's dunking on a nerf hoop over door frame, you know? What is TFB? It is all explained here.

(sources: here, here, here, here, here, and here.)

Other Reading(s):

  • NBA players that don't (can't) in-game dunk (according to youtube).

  • The complete list of female in-game dunks (according to youtube).

    vietmanx said...

    where are your facts from? how can all these people have over 50 inch verticals? if they did they would easily parlay it into loads of money and be all over the olympics. mj did not have a 48 inch vertical, you are insane.

    Anonymous said...

    I think you are listing the running vert for these NBA players and not the standing.

    For instance, no recent player in the nba draft camp has a standing vertical jump of 40 inches.

    In terms of max vert the highest jumper in recent times is Nate Robinson, he had a 43.5 inch vertical jump.

    In the 2007 the Al thornton topped the class with a 41 inch vertical leap (Max Vert), while his standing vertical jump was 35 inches.

    That just shows you the difference, nba players are most of the time described by their max vert > for the same reason they are listed by their height in shoes .... to make them sound better.

    They are awesome though.

    btw i'm sceptical about any vertical leap over 50 inches, i'll believe it when i see it measured.

    Anonymous said...

    MJ did have a 48 inch vert. Why you are so skeptical. NBA players are World Class athletes. You are just being ignorant. And there are people with over 50 verts. There's one guy who is an AND 1 player that has a near about over 50 vert. And i really don't believe the other AI has 34 inch vert. Last time i checked he had 44 inch.
    BTW the AND1 player is called Skywalker. And just because you have a high vert doesn't translate into going to the Olympics. Vietmanx how old are ?

    Anonymous said...

    don't forget about leonel marshall

    DrGravitee said...

    Hi Vietmanx, I'm a little late with my reply, but figured late is better than never. You might be right. Thing is, I fully admit that vert numbers are hard to pin down. I'm just reporting the verts I got from the sources listed at the bottom of the post. And as Anon points out, there is a huge difference between standing and running vert. Anyway, any way you slice it verts are fun to catalogue. So maybe I'll update this post soon with some of the suggestions made in the comment section. Thanks y'all!

    Anonymous said...

    very helpful, tyvm!

    DrGravitee said...

    You're welcome!

    jake said...

    Ok listen here. Nobody has a standing 50 inch vert. You know some of these numbers are wrong because you have JJ Redick as having pretty much the same vert as Andre Igudala and theres no way. Nate robinson may be the only player in the NBA with a true over 40 standing vert. MJ might have had a 48 max vert but thats questionable. The guy from slam nation is ridiculous but 56 is an exaggeration. Check out guys named Golden Child and T Dub on youtube they are up there with Nate Robinson.

    DrGravitee said...

    Jake, I'm with you on this. Most of these marks are pure fabrication. That said, I bet JJ's vert is higher than most think, although you are right to say the one listed here is a stretch. As for Iggy, he fell in the draft because he couldn't jump (according to scouts), and then he later was robbed of an NBA dunk contest, so clearly he can jump just fine. Either that, or Iggy proved that vert isn't everything for dunk contests. But mainly, I agree, Nate and a handful of other guys are up there, but most of the others are pretenders. -DrG

    Anonymous said...

    hey dude you should seriously consider checking out this guy named Golden Child, he's with TFB, dudes 6'1" and this mofo gets up with his head clearly above the rim, check it out for yourself...

    Anonymous said...

    if michael jordan has a 48 inch vertical charles barkley is the worlds greatest golfer. and who gives a fuk if some guy 7 foot tall can touch his head on a rim. the rim is 10 feet minus his foot extension which is probably another foot means he has a 2 ft vertical. real fukn impressive

    DrGravitee said...


    What is your point, exactly? From what I can determine, you seem to make two points:

    1. That you believe Michael Jordan has a vertical leap considerably below 48 inches, although you offer up no evidence to the contrary.

    2. That Dwight Howard's ability to kiss the rim is overrated.

    But my question to you is this: if the alleged vertical leap exploits of NBA players doesn't impress you, why seek out a blog that offers up that exact information? Seems like posting a comment on such a blog would be a waste of everyone's time.

    Tony Anderson said...

    What I want to know is who originally released that completely bogus list with numbers like 48 inches for MJ and 28 for Malone? You see that same stupid list EVERYWHERE, and you know that at some point 5-10 years ago somebody just made it up based on nothing more than crude observations. I have a hard time believing that the 320+ pount O'Neil could get up better than the chiseled Mailman, who was in better shape than anyone in the league.

    DrGravitee said...

    Yes, good point. Let me know when you find the propagator of all this misinformation! My guess is he worked in the NBA's marketing department.

    Anonymous said...

    Man MJ didn't have 48 inch vertical leap, just thinkin 8'10 standing reach=269 cm......12'5 jumping reach= 378.5 cm ............................378.5-269= 109.5cm =43.8 inch ( 109.5/2.5).............max 44 inch vertical leap what Jordan had. Never 48 inch never. He was a very good dunker, great dunker, but he got "just" 44 inch vertical leap. It is awesome, but not fuckin 48 INCH.

    Stokely said...

    hey man, where do you get this info from. mjs 48" is sick...

    DrGravitee said...

    Just from google searches, so take it with a grain of salt...

    Anonymous said...

    wtf kobe and i are the same height but his reach is 7 inches higher than mine haha

    Vietmanx said...

    One of these commentators brought up a good point that I have been mulling over for a long time. The best indicator of how tall/short a person is relative to jumping height, standing reach is great. It puts a true measure to how tall a person is because of varying arm lengths. In my opinion there is one aspect being left out, if arm and hand length vary then so do the size of a persons foot. Two 6 foot 6 guys with equal standing reach,might wear a size 13 shoe and a size 17 shoe. This actually gives the size 17 wearer a higher vertical leap even when all other variable are equal. The scouts need to start measuring standing reach on tiptoes. This would be the truest indicator of height/length/size.

    Also if a person had a 50 inch vertical they would excel in a number of Olympic events and do quite well with that kind of explosiveness. The "world class" athletes that one of the above comments mentions aren't as "world class" as you would think. Look up the NBA draft combine results on Only a couple of guys crack the 40 in MAX vert threshold. Most guys barely crack 30 inches. People you think can jump high have pretty average verticals. Plus factor in the whole foot size variable and their jumps are less impressive. If Dwight has a 30 inch vertical and wears a size 19, and John Smith is 5-10, has a 30 inch vertical and wears a size 10 who do you think can actually jump higher. BTW Howard's vert is 30.5 and Iguodala has the same vert as Howard.

    Also be sure to know the difference between Max jump and Vertical jump. They are very different. And never trust the way Football players test verticals. When measuring standing reach a lot of guys don't extend their arms fully overhead, thereby gaining many precious inches.
    -Vietmanx, 24

    Vietmanx said...

    Also I always hear old timers from Rucker Park talking about how they used to pick dollars and quarters off the top of the back board. I've seen Dwight Howard and James White fail to even touch the top of the backboard, how were guys around 6 foot to 6-3 jumping high enough to grab things off the top. That seems a bit dubious to me.....

    Anonymous said...

    I had a twin brother that had his head chin level over the basket. His head was about 13 inches over the rim. He did this while playing against our dad in a basketball gym about 12 years ago. My brother grabbed the rebound and went straight back up. His head went 13 inches over the basket. He layed the ball in the hoop instead because his head was past the basket. It was the most amazing thing I ever saw because I SAW IT WITH MY OWN EYES. This was a standing vertical because he did this without running first. This was when my twin brother was 16 years old at the time. Me and our our dad was amazed by it so we told him to do a running vertical and he ended up jumping 8 inches higher than his standind vertical. His head was about 21 inches above the basket. Our dad measured his vertical afterward. At that time, my twin brother was 5’3 and had a standing reach of 6’10. HE COULD TOUCH 12’7 ON THE BACKboard while just standing first and he could touch 13’3 on the backboard while doing a running vertical. We found out that my twin brother's standing vertical was 69 inches and his running vertical was 77 inches. It was amazing watching someone jump so jump. I would had video taped it back when he did this amazing thing, but our mom and dad did not own a video camera at that time. It sucks though because I want all of you people to see this amazing thing for yourself because you people would be amazed by it as well. My twin brother is now 28 years old and is 5’8 now. It is very much possible to jump that high because my twin brother did it a while back while I witnessed it and it was amazing to see. We never videotaped him doing it. His name would have been to of his chart right now. We never told Guininess Book of World Records about it. I just had to tell yah that it is possible jump that high.

    My twin brothers Measurements as a 16 year old 12 years ago

    Standing vertical 69 inches
    Running vertical 77 inches
    Height With Shoes 5’3
    Standing Reach 6’10
    Max vertical Reach Whilw Standing 12’7
    Max Vertical Reach While Running 13’3

    My Twin brother is now 5’8. His name is Terrance Harvey. He was very athletic and still is. He is a great basketball player. Always has been, but he is currently doing something else right now. He can easily get INTO THE NBA easily and dominate. He just had surgery 2 years ago. My brother never played high school basketball or college basketball because he had a very bad injury but never went into surgery for it because he decided not to at the time. Alot of people resemble him to Michael Jordan back then while playing in the gym and still do. He is person that can easily be better than Mj. Thats all I have to say about my twin brother.

    Samwise said...

    Jordan's vertical is absolutely legit. I'm a bit suprised that Vince Mince is lower, though - but I suppose carter was just so agile in his prime. Also, I think Shaq's vertical was a little bit higher.