How Tall Do You Have To Be To Dunk In Basketball?
While height is an important factor when it comes to dunking, most anyone is able to dunk if they put in enough work. Standing at around 7’5” would allow one to dunk without jumping, but that height is exceptional. There are plenty of players in the NBA who are not this height, and they can still dunk. Read on to learn more about the different heights of NBA players who have dunked in the past.
Average Height of NBA Players
There is quite a range in the height of NBA players. Currently, there are three players in the NBA under 6’0”, with Facundo Campazzo standing at 5’10” and Kennedy Chandler and McKinley Wright IV being 5’11”. On the other hand, Boban Marjanovic is the tallest player in the league at 7’4”. When you average all of them together, it comes out to around 6’6”. By comparison, the average height of an American male is 5’9”, so NBA players are certainly much taller than the average man.
As for dunking a basketball, while the taller players certainly have an advantage, plenty of players under 6’6” can dunk as well. These players have extremely high vertical leaps and jump high enough to dunk. For example, one of the best dunkers in the NBA is Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies, and he is only 6’2”. In all, a player’s athleticism is just as important as their height when it comes to dunking.
Shortest Players Ever to Dunk
Certain players epitomize the fact that you do not have to be 7’5” to dunk. In fact, one of the shortest players in NBA history was one of the best dunkers. Standing at just 5’7”, Spud Webb sported a vertical leap that was reportedly around 42 inches. This allowed a player who is shorter than the average American man to dunk with relative ease. Webb showed off his dunking prowess in 1986 when he won the NBA’s Slam Dunk Contest, further cementing himself as a legendary dunker.
Another legendary short dunker, Nate Robinson (5’9”), managed to win the dunk contest three times (2006, 2009, and 2010). Robinson is probably the best dunker under 6’0” in NBA history. As for other “short” players to dunk, there are plenty to go around. They include Allen Iverson, Ty Lawson, and Will Bynum, all of who stood at 5’11”.
Tallest Players Ever to Dunk
On the opposite end of the height spectrum, there have been some tall players in NBA history who could dunk with extreme ease, often without even leaving the ground. Two of those players are the tallest players in NBA history, Manute Bol and Gheorghe Muresan. These two men stood at 7’7” and had plenty of unique dunks where they barely left the floor. Some more of these unique players include Tacko Fall (7’6”), Slavko Vranes (7’6”), Shawn Bradley (7’6”), Yao Ming (7’6”), Chuck Nevitt (7’5”), and Mark Eaton (7’4”). While standing at this absurd height certainly helps players dunk, as the players named above showed, you do not have to be quite this tall in order to dunk. You do, however, have to have a great amount of athleticism and a high vertical leap.