Highest Vertical Jump Ever in NBA, NFL And Track & Field


In every game, there must be qualifications for the team to pick the right players for better results. Some qualifications are pre-requisites, while others are achieved through training. That is the reason why you get to read about the best footballers of the season. Additionally, every game has its player features and measures of standards. We talk of top scorer, best athletic champion and nowhere the top NBA player with the highest vertical jump. Such terms are the ones that bring out the specific features in every type of game.

Have you ever come across a question about what’s the average height in nba? Or as an aspiring basketball player, have you ever considered knowing Michael Jordan vertical height, I mean your icon in NBA? Well, this is one of the detailed information that you need to have at your fingertips. I was stuck some times too, not knowing why those NFL players jump so high springing to the rim until I had to dig deep and find out. That's why I also need us to share this and know the highest vertical jump ever recorded in NBA, NFL and Track & Field.


Generally, basketball is dominated by players with great heights and dunking powers. These players have the abilities to amaze us whenever they decide to fly against gravity. According to Draft Combine, the average NBA vertical jump is estimated at 28” inches. Is this not amazing already considering that the average vertical jump for a male is only between 16 to 20 inches? As if that's not enough there are basketball players who can dunk up to 48 inches, while others go as far as 60 inches. Who are these dunkers?

NBA Draft Combine:

The NBA Draft Combine is where top players showcase their skills in front of NBA officials in the aim of impressing them. In this case, the vertical jump is when a player has no steps when jumping while the maximum vertical test is when the player is allowed to take steps before taking off. However, the Draft Combine measurements sometime might be misleading or incorrect, but it is impressive to see how these players fly their heights without much thinking. No wonder every time Draft Combine test the vertical jump of NBA players they come up with new records.

In the history of the NBA, there are basketball players who made records that have been broken, and I don't see them being broken soon. Let us find out who are these players with the highest vertical jump ever;

1. Wilt Chamberlain.

Do you know the average nba player height? Well, you are yet to know. When we talk of players with monster heights in the NBA, we cannot leave Wilt Chamberlain out. Wilt was 7.1 inches of height and could dunk at 48 inches height. He also had a wingspan of 7.8 inches. During his career journey, he dominated the courts, with many records that I don't think if they will be broken any time soon. Some of his records include his famous 100-point game and an average score of 50.4 points in every game in 1962-1962 season. Fans can relate his height and vertical jump to his magical scores and rebounds. It is worth to remember he was the first NBA player to win the ROY and MVP awards in the same season.

2. Darrell Griffith.

The name could be unfamiliar to many. It might be due to his team Utah Jazz that did not win many contests in NBA competitions. Darrell played his entire career with the team. But truth be told, Darrell had a close range of dunking with Wilt making it to 438 inches. He tied with Wilt Chamberlain for the Highest NBA Vertical Jump test. With his 6.4 inches height, Darrell could get his head 4 inches above the rim. He retired in 1991 and was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 2014.

3. Michael Jordan.

Here comes another slayer. Michael Jordan had all it takes to impress his viewers in the courts. There came his nicknames “His Jordan” and “His Airness”, due to his ability to float in the air and dunk to anyone who appears close to the rim. I think Dikembe Mutombo can tell this right since he is one victim of Jordan’s dunk. Michael Jordan vertical jump was 46 inches.

4. Zach LaVine.

The basketball lovers still remember this winner of Slam Dunk Contest Winner of 2015 and 2016. Zach LaVine won the contest back to back with his vertical jump of 46 inches. He is in the same class as Jordan when it comes to jumping abilities. The differences between the two players are their additional powers. Zach has shown the fascinating dunks with windmills, between-the-legs dunks, and a free throw line dunk.

5. LeBron James.

Some call him King James. Of course, he is a king since he is the best player that the NBA has ever had. With his height, King James has a vertical jump of 44 inches. He has the highest speed and strength that are unmatched by any other player in the NBA. It is well known that anyone who stays his way is either being ran on or dunked on. Even though he has never taken part in the NBA Dunk Contest, James stand out as the most impressive player when it comes to field dominance. Maybe he is focusing on his crown, King James.

6. Vince Carter.

Vince Carter closes the list of the top dunkers in NBA. Vince has a vertical jump of 43 inches. His jumping ability might be lower than most of his competitors but is undoubtedly the best in-game dunker that the NBA has ever seen. He holds the record as the only player to jump over a 7-foot player in-game during 2000 Olympics. He was named Vinsanity and Half Man Half Amazing. The French media also named his dunk as ‘the dunk of death.’

Highest vertical jump in the NFL.

The difference in vertical jumps in NBA and NFL is quite visible since NFL players only measure their standing vertical jump in NFL combine. In NFL combine, there is no step during takeoff. It also noticeable that NFL players have a higher vertical jump then NBA player. Do you know why? Here are the reasons;

  • The basketball rim for NBA players is set ten feet off the ground, meaning players don't need much strength to dunk. Since the average nba player height is six feet, NBA players need a lower average vertical jump to reach the rim. This makes them have a lower average vertical jump compared to NFL players.

  • With relation to the first reason, most NBA players are much taller than 6 feet as compared to NFL players who have shorter average player height. In this case, NFL players need a higher vertical jump to dunk to the rim.

Back to our topic. Who has the highest vertical jump in the NFL? Gerald Sensabaugh still holds the records of the highest vertical jump in NFL. He set the record in 2015 NFL combine after jumping at 46 inches. Moreover, other dunkers made history in NFL vertical jump that is worth mentioning;

1. Byron Jones.

Byron executed the highest standing vertical jump record in 2015 when he was playing for Dallas Cowboys. He is still the holder of the worlds record in NFL.

2. A.J. Jefferson.

Making an impressive vertical jump of 44 inches, Jefferson has a fantastic vertical dunk in NFL. He was a team member of Arizona Cardinals and now Minnesota Vikings.

3. Doren Dickerson.

Dorin record a vertical jump of 43.5 inches. He plays as a tight end in many teams including; The Texans, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New England Patriots, the Cleveland Browns, the Buffalo Bills and may more.

Other NFL players with impressive vertical jump are

  • Kashif Moore 43.5”

  • Christine Michael 43”

  • Darius Butler 43”

  • Ameer Abdullah 42.5”

  • Jarett Dillard 42.5”

  • Roger McIntosh 42.5”

The highest jump in track and field

You may wonder why to include this in our topic and how is it related to the vertical jump in basketball. For any player to have an impressive jump to outshine his opponents, he must have the secret of doing that. As a player, you need to have the speed, great timing, high jump, and body control. This is where the Fosbury Flop technique comes in. With this technique, you can clear a bar even though your centre of gravity is below the bar, by arching your back and spinning your legs once the bar is crossed.

The record of the highest jump in track and field is held by Javier Sotomayor who managed to clear 8 feet with 2.45m in 1993.

Highest box jump.

Have you ever heard people jumping higher than 60 inches and wondered how? These heights involve something like a box or a platform where players run and dunk to the top. This kind of jumping is also done as a form of practice by basketball players and has numerous benefits including;

  • We are strengthening the legs.

  • Stamina maintenance.

  • Balance improvement.

  • Burning calories and maintain perfect weight.

  • Improving coordination with other sports and daily activities.

  • It is s less costly form of practice since you can use standard training equipment.

If you have a dream of becoming the best basketball player, then this is the way to start.

The record of the highest box jump is held by Jordan Kilganon, who broke it with 75”. The record was previously held by Darren Jackson who took it from Jonas Huusom with 58.1 inches. Jordan is one of the best professional dunkers in the world. He has appeared severally on Dunk League show, which brings the world’s most innovative dunkers together to contest.

Additional data.

In addition to the detailed records above, some records were broken or set outside the court. These highest records recorded in the Guinness World Records

1. The Highest Standing Jump

The Guinness World recorded Christopher Spell as the first man with the highest standing jump od 1.628 meters (5.34 feet)

2. the Highest Box Jump.

Darren Jackson from Australia is the first man to record the highest box jump with 59.1 inches.

3. The world’s highest dunk.

In 2000, Michael Wilson recorded the first world’s highest jump at 12 feet. Wilt Chamberlain also reached the same height in 1950, but he was awarded ally-oop the way Michael was given.

4. platform vertical jump.

Evans Ungar from recorded the highest platform jump with 63.5 inches in 2016 and was recorded as the highest after Justin Bethel who recorded 60 inches. However, Kadour Ziani is believed to have recorded the highest platform vertical jump of 64.5 inches but was not verified; therefore, he remains the holder of unofficial record in Guinness World Records.

5. Running Vertical jump.

Kenny Gregory set the record for the highest running vertical jump in 2001 after jumping at 44.5 inches.

The Bottom Line

Is the article helpful? I guess so. To be a perfect basketball player, it takes a lot to be in court. It is more of scores and rebounds. Who knew that the average height in nba matters a lot? We watch these players doing marvellous tricks in the courts and wonder how they came to master them. Like any other game with minimum requirements, NBA, NFL and Track and Field games too, have their requirements such as average nba player height. Average heights help the player to dunk and reach the rim, not forgetting the higher heights are advantageous to players to pass their opponents.

Additionally, from the article, you can learn about the records that were set by basketball legends we didn't know existed. For instance, I am pretty sure you didn't know someone like Christopher Spell was the first man to record the highest standing vertical jump at 1.62 meters. Together with the benefits, you can get from practicing box jumping back at home. I hope you find it helpful.

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Pete Oliveri

CEO / AUTHOR of Freaky Shoes®

Meet Pete Oliveri, the creative force and driving visionary behind Freaky Shoes. A New Jersey native, Pete is an accomplished American artist dedicated over 20 years to the consumer products industry, leaving an indelible mark in various domains such as graphic and packaging design, illustration, and product development. His extraordinary talent has earned him accolades, including the prestigious Bio Comics Award for his exceptional comic book content development work. However, Pete's ultimate achievement lies in his role as the Founder, CEO and creative genius of Freaky Shoes.

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