The defending NBA Slam Dunk Champion of 1986 was Dominique Wilkins. Like many spectators, Dominique had never seen Spud Webb dunk before. Spud’s listed height of 5’7” compared to Dominique’s height of 6’8″ looked almost impossible to challenge. Despite being one of the shortest players in NBA history, Spud managed to EXCEED EXPECTATIONS, battling dunk after dunk for a win.
Anthony Jerome “Spud” Webb’s winning combination of talent, practice, and his personal DEDICATION, made him a winner by the time he joined the Atlanta Hawks.
“I don’t play small. You have to go out and play with what you have. I admit I used to want to be tall. But I made it in high school, college, and now the pros. So it doesn’t matter.” – Spud Webb
As a kid, what caused Spud Webb to discover the sport of basketball in the first place? Could it have been his speed or his jumping abilities? Maybe he outsmarted or outplayed the other kids in his neighborhood? By the time Spud was in 7th grade, he knew that he had talent for sports.
While Webb attended Wilmer-Hutchins High School, he remembers being rejected to be on the varsity team. He was told to play on the junior team instead because of his height. As a result, Webb recalls being REJECTED and DISCOURAGED. Instead of quitting the sport altogether, Spud decided to improve his abilities by practicing to improve his weakness. Only two short years later, during his senior year in High School, he was named Player of the Year. He went on to be one of ten Texas high school players to make it to the All-State Team.
(1986 Slam Dunk Contest | YouTube – jjmedina 25)
SPUD WAS KNOWN FOR THE FOLLOWING DUNKS:
- elevator two-handed double pump dunk
- off-the-backboard one-handed jam
- 360-degree helicopter one-handed dunk
- reverse double-pump slam
- reverse two-handed strawberry jam from a lob bounce off the floor
LEARN MORE: ALL-STAR HISTORY: SLAM DUNK CONTEST WINNERS
- Think about Spud Webb’s size. What effect did his size have on him playing basketball as a child?
- What you believe Spud had to do in order to compete with players such as Dominique Wilkins?
- How do you believe Spud Webb made a difference in the sport of basketball?