"Could you ever dunk?" I ask. Sean is about 6'2, and used to be that athletic skinny skateboarding kid(emphasis on the used to be). The only real thing he's got going against him is that he's Canadian, and everyone knows Canadians can't dunk.
"I never really tried" he responds, "I gave up on basketball after eighth grade". Sean went to school with Richard Jefferson, who now starts at forward for the New Jersey Nets, and informs me that upon showing up to try out for the team and seeing RJ dunking he gave up on hoops.
"I always thought I'd dunk some day" I tell him. "I think I was about 8 to 10 inches shy even at my best though, and then I stopped growing"
We soon both, half jokingly, decided that our goal for the summer should be to train to dunk the ball. Tuesday I, still half jokingly, ran the idea by my mom while watching the Sun's game.
"I'm gonna dunk the ball this summer mom"
"Oh honey, you can't"
"Why not? You said I can do anything I put my mind to" I ask with a feigned ignorance.
"You're just too short"
By Wednesday we had dropped the "half jokingly" and were both getting serious. We went to Walmart for lunch and got jump ropes and I got a basketball. We stopped by a court and shot it around for a second before heading back to work.
As the day progressed I had told a few people, "At the end of this summer, I, Jesse B, will dunk a basketball" Soon, like good little nerds, we had both sat down and started doing some calculations and measurements. Apparently I have a 6'10" reach, which means I need roughly a 44" vertical leap. My current vertical is about 22", and for comparisons sake, Michael Jordan had a vertical leap of 42". I soon proclaimed, "At the end of this summer, I, Jesse B, will dunk a basketball, on a nine foot hoop"
Just to give you an idea of the kind of results to expect, I've got a video of Vince Carter jumping over a 7'2 guy in what many consider the greatest dunk ever. Except in our case, the part of the 7'2 guy will be played by our friend J.R.
We're now on day 1 of "Dunkquest", and I've already learned a few interesting facts:
- 99/100 guys will try to prove that he can jump and touch something given the challenge. You could tell a 94 year old blind man in a wheel chair that he can't grab the rim, and he'd go for it without reservation.
- 99/100 men, after not jumping as high as they thought they could, will tell you that they could in fact dunk on a 10 foot rim at some point in their life.
- 97/100 men are in fact, liars.