Struts also perform a second job. Unlike shock absorbers, struts provide structural support for the vehicle suspension, support the spring, and hold the tire in an aligned position. Additionally, they bear much of the side load placed on the vehicle's suspension. As a result, struts affect riding comfort and handling as well as vehicle control, braking, steering, wheel alignment and wear on other suspension
March 27 was yet another in a long string of days, each feeling as if it would be the day. Fully rested and caffeinated, I arrived with Jeff at a court, recommended by Brent Barry, whose rim heights fluctuated but which I’d recently measured at 10 feet. The rims at New York City’s famed Rucker Park, incidentally, both measured under 9’ 9” on a recent visit, which raises all sorts of questions about what a dunk is and what it isn’t. The famed outdoor rims along Venice Beach, if lined up next to each other, would look like a graphic equalizer during a Ray Manzarek keyboard solo: 9' 9", 9' 11", 9' 8".
Which is why, on April 1, 2014, I dedicated myself to dunking a basketball for the first time. So that I could live it, breathe it, perhaps take a crack at it with my pen. I had tossed this idea around for years, realizing with each passing birthday that my chances of success were dimming. However, on that April Fool’s Day (a coincidence) I spent three hours on the court and at the gym, with a promise to myself to return several times each week until I threw one down like Gerald Green. Or at least like Litterial Green, who played in 148 NBA games between 1992 and ’99, and who, like me, was born in the early ’70s, stands 6'1", 185 pounds and is at no risk of having dunker carved into his epitaph.
A second, more efficient and correct method is to use an infrared laser placed at ground level. When an athlete jumps and breaks the plane of the laser with his/her hand, the height at which this occurs is measured. Devices based on United States Patent 5031903, "A vertical jump testing device comprising a plurality of vertically arranged measuring elements each pivotally mounted..." are also common. These devices are used at the highest levels of collegiate and professional performance testing. They are composed of several (roughly 70) 14-inch prongs placed 0.5 inches apart vertically. An athlete will then leap vertically (no running start or step) and make contact with the retractable prongs to mark their leaping ability. This device is used each year at the NFL scouting combine.
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