Shortest NBA Player to Dunk


Basketball is a sport that requires players to have a combination of athleticism, skill, and strategy. Dunking, in particular, has become one of the most exciting aspects of the game.

The ability to jump high and slam the ball through the hoop requires tremendous physical ability, making it a rare skill that only a few players possess(when looking at the bigger picture).

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When it comes to dunking, height is typically seen as the biggest advantage, but some players have defied this notion by being shorter than the average basketball player, yet still being able to throw down dunks.

In this article, we´ll take a look at the shortest NBA dunker, how he accomplished this feat, and what his legacy is in the sport.

Who is the Shortest NBA Dunker?

The shortest NBA dunker is undoubtedly Spud Webb, who stood at only 5´7" (170cm). Despite his small stature, Spud was an incredibly talented athlete who was able to compete at the highest level of professional basketball.

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He was born on July 13, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, and grew up playing basketball in his backyard with his brothers. Spud attended Wilmer-Hutchins High School, where he played basketball and eventually caught the attention of college recruiters.

Spud Webb´s Dunking Career

Spud Webb attended Midland College and then transferred to North Carolina State University, where he played for the Wolfpack.

He was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in the fourth round of the 1985 NBA draft, but he was later waived by the team. He then signed with the Atlanta Hawks, where he would make a name for himself as the shortest player to ever compete in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest.

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In 1986, Spud Webb entered the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, which was held during the All-Star Weekend. The contest was known for featuring some of the league´s best dunkers, including the likes of Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, and Clyde Drexler.

Despite being the smallest participant, Spud Webb wowed the crowd with his amazing dunks, including a 360-degree spin in mid-air before slamming the ball through the hoop. He ultimately won the contest, becoming the shortest player to ever do so.

How did Spud Webb Dunk?

One of the most common questions people ask about Spud Webb is how he was able to dunk despite his height. While it´s true that his height gave him a disadvantage, Spud made up for it with his incredible leaping ability. He was able to jump higher than most people his height, and he also had a quick first step, which allowed him to explode off the ground and reach the rim. Additionally, Spud had a great sense of timing and was able to coordinate his movements to execute amazing dunks that would leave fans in awe.

What is Spud Webb´s Legacy?

Spud Webb´s legacy in basketball is one that is truly remarkable. He showed that height is not always a limiting factor when it comes to basketball, and he proved that with determination and hard work, anything is possible.

His victory in the 1986 Slam Dunk Contest is still considered one of the greatest moments in the history of the competition, and it has inspired countless players to pursue their dreams, no matter what obstacles they may face.

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Spud Webb´s impact goes beyond his incredible dunking ability. He has been a role model for young basketball players, especially those who are shorter than the average player. He has shown that it´s not just about height or physical attributes, but also about dedication, passion, and hard work. He has also been an inspiration for children and adults alike, teaching them that with perseverance and determination, they can overcome any obstacle.

Spud´s legacy extends beyond the basketball court as well. He has used his platform to promote education and help children in need. He has worked with various charitable organizations, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Boys and Girls Club of America, to help provide opportunities for disadvantaged youth. He has also been an advocate for education, encouraging children to stay in school and pursue their dreams.


Who are the other notable short dunkers in the NBA?

While Spud Webb is arguably the most famous short dunker in the NBA, there have been other players who have been able to dunk despite their height. Nate Robinson, who stood at 5´9" (175cm), won three Slam Dunk Contests during his career and was known for his incredible leaping ability.

The best "short" dunker though has to be Nate Robinson, who also won the Dunk Conest. Nate Robinson stands at 5´9 and was able to execute substantially harder dunks than Spud Webb. 

How important is height in basketball?

Height is generally seen as an advantage in basketball, as it allows players to be closer to the basket and have a better chance of rebounding and blocking shots. However, there have been many successful basketball players who were shorter than the average player, such as Allen Iverson and Muggsy Bogues. Ultimately, while height can be an advantage, it´s not the only factor that determines a player´s success in the sport.

How can short players improve their ability to dunk?

Short players can improve their ability to dunk by working on their jumping ability and timing. Plyometric exercises, such as jump squats and box jumps, can help build explosive power in the legs, which is essential for jumping higher. Additionally, practicing dunking with a smaller ball or a lower rim can help improve technique and build confidence.


Spud Webb is undoubtedly the shortest NBA dunker in history, and his legacy is a testament to the fact that with hard work and dedication, anyone can achieve their dreams. Despite his height, Spud was able to compete at the highest level of professional basketball and win the Slam Dunk Contest, which is still regarded as one of the greatest moments in the history of the competition.

Spud´s impact goes beyond the basketball court, and he has been a role model for young athletes and an advocate for education and social causes. His legacy will continue to inspire generations of basketball players to come.