Tomorrow night, Brooklyn’s Barclays Center will host the annual NBA Slam Dunk Contest as part of the league’s All-Star Weekend. Dunking a basketball is generally reserved for seasoned athletes with the incredible vertical leap required to rise high enough to stuff a ball through a ten-foot rim. But what about the aging average Joes who grew up watching high-flying stars like Dominique Wilkins and Michael Jordan? Could they ever soar high enough to achieve the dream of every schoolyard baller in the country?

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Dunking was banned in the NCAA from 1967 to 1976. Many people have attributed this to the dominance of the then-college phenomenon Lew Alcindor (now known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar); the no-dunking rule is sometimes referred to as the "Lew Alcindor rule."[3][4] Many others have also attributed the ban as having racial motivations, as at the time most of the prominent dunkers in college basketball were African-American, and the ban took place less than a year after a Texas Western team with an all-black starting lineup beat an all-white Kentucky team to win the national championship.[5] Under head coach Guy Lewis, Houston (with Elvin Hayes) made considerable use of the "stuff" shot on their way to the Final Four in 1967.[6]
Then you need to hold the chalk in your right hand, and then you need to jump from the same starting position (without a run-up). To do the jump, you’ll need to flex (bend) at the hip and knee joints and use your arms for momentum. At the top of the jump you’ll mark the wall (or chalk board) with the chalk. The score for the jump is the difference between the standing height and the jump height (in cm). The highest of three separate trials is recorded as your max score.
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The method described above is the most common and simplest way to measure one's vertical jump, but other more scientifically accurate methods have been devised. A pressure pad can be used to measure the time it takes for an athlete to complete a jump, and then using a kinematics equation (h = g × t2/8),[4] the computer can calculate his or her vertical jump based on the time in the air.
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