The record for the most WNBA dunks belongs to Brittney Griner. As a high school senior, she dunked 52 times in 32 games and set a single-game record of seven dunks. As a standout at Baylor University, Griner became the seventh player to dunk during a women's college basketball game and the second woman to dunk twice in a single college game. In her WNBA debut on May 27, 2013, Griner dunked twice, and as of 2014, has five WNBA dunks, including the first in a playoff game (August 25, 2014).
Perhaps the most popular obstruction-modified dunk is the Dubble-Up. Aptly eponymous of the its pioneer—T-Dub, an American dunker hailing from Minnesota—the Dubble-Up starts with a person standing before the basket, holding the ball above their head. The dunker approaches and leaps as though their groin would soar above just above the head and their legs around the stationary person. Just prior to clearing the person, the dunker will assume control of the ball with one or both hands, guide it under a raised leg, transferring it to the appropriate hand, clearing the ball-holder, raising the ball above the horizontal plane of the rim, and finally guiding it downward through the basket. While the Dubble-Up mimics a between-the-legs dunk, Kenny Dobbs and Justin Darlington have both performed an under-both-legs variant.
I scoured the Internet looking for guidance. There are dozens of sites promising a path to dunking, most of them coded at the dawn of the Web. It was daunting finding one that seemed legit. I ended up paying $67 for the Jump Manual, an online program offered by Jacob Heller, a trainer with a 42-inch vertical who counts NBA players among his clients, according to his website. Next, I ordered a pair of Strength Shoes. You’ll remember these if you’re a basketball player of a certain age—the ridiculous-looking training kicks popular in the ’90s, with a platform under the toe that places your bodyweight on the balls of your feet.
“No, not Dad,” Oliver said in the brick tract home where he grew up. “He was an older dad, like you, and his family was the focus of his life. The only time he wasn’t home with us kids was when he went out on the road for Phillips Petroleum, buying and selling leases in western Kansas and Oklahoma. When he got back he’d say, ‘All I wanted to do was come home.’ ”
Among the hundreds of lessons I learned during my youngest child’s first year of life was this: If you earnestly pursue dunking after your athletic peak years of 18 to 30, give or take, it can be done. You can enjoy what it feels like to dunk. You can even feel it more purely than I did, maybe without needing a lob from a friend, and hopefully without all the hand damage. But you should expect a long, frustrating, demeaning war of attrition that pits mind, body, spirit against the most oppressive, unrelenting opponent of them all: gravity. The sun rises and sets, the tides creep in and out—even taxes and death seem negotiable nowadays—but gravity remains constant, forever pounding our shoulders, stooping us shorter as we grow gray, never letting up—no matter what NASA tweets.
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In the tradition of New Year’s resolutions and the like, you can give yourself a year. I certainly didn’t want to give myself more than a year, because after a year I knew I would grow tired of it, and my body would start to get quite unhappy with me. But I would recommend to someone that they give it a go for at least six months. It’s also a way of just getting yourself in fantastic shape. I mean, trying to dunk a basketball in itself is awesome. It’s really great to be able to dunk a basketball, to get yourself higher up than you thought possible. But the process of getting yourself in that kind of position is itself rewarding.
7. Antman EM, Anbe DT, Armstrong PW, et al. ACC/AHA guidelines for the management of patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines (Committee to Revise the 1999 Guidelines for the Management of Patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction). Circulation 2004;110:e82-e292[Erratum, Circulation 2005;111:2013-4, 2007;115(15):e411.]
It takes a higher vertical leap to get both hands up to the rim versus just one (and don’t forget, you’ll be holding a basketball as well), so if you’re cutting it close, try for a one-handed jam. Being able to palm the ball will obviously help, but it’s not totally necessary; just make sure you keep the ball in both hands until you leave the floor so you don’t lose it.
A great summary of what it takes to improve vertical jumping ability Joe. There is definitely an art and science to optimizing vertical jump height. I actually just completed a huge post on the topic of How To Jump Higher which your readers may find complements this post nicely. It is a long read (12000+ words) but for those of your readers who want to learn more about the art of jumping they may find it helpful. Keep up the great work!
Important Update! – I have been receiving a few emails/comments on players tracking their jump during the course of their program. Please understand that what you are doing when completing a jump program is breaking down the muscle. You aren’t going to see improvements mid-week because the muscle hasn’t healed properly. That’s why I suggest only checking how much you’ve improved at the end of each rest week. Rest is just as important as the routine.