Something really very memorable and kind of shocking happened in the 1986 NBA All Star Games Slam Dunk contest when a relatively short NBA player of 5’7″ dominated all the other contestants with his high flying dunks that won the hearts of everyone who was there. Spud Webb was the smallest among the contestants who were all above 6 feet in height but everyone agreed that his dunk was the highlight of the competition and so he got awarded the top prize. He was forever immortalized into NBA history.
The contest was made more interesting because Spud Webb was up against his Atlanta Hawks team mate Dominique Wilkins at the time. Wilkins was the winner of the previous year’s slam dunk contest so he was the man to beat. The air was full of excitement as Wilkins, also known as the Human Highlight Film, went up against the short Webb.
But alas, Webb was declared the winner of that night’s tournament. This was considered a really great achievement and literally one for the books. Spud Webb set a historic record for being the shortest NBA star to join the contest and win it, beating some really tremendous slam dunkers.
Although Spud Webb is not really well known by the current batch of NBA followers, videos of almost all NBA stars are available in many online video sharing sites. We can still watch and see how the small NBA star from the Atlanta Hawks. The Spud Webb winning dunk can be downloaded online for all to see. See how he defeated one of the game’s all time greats Dominique Wilkins.
Spud Webb early on realized that playing basketball was his way to a better life. Born into poverty, he had a great playing career at Wilmer-Hutchins High School where he averaged 26 points.
During his early collegiate years, he went to Texas’ Midland College where he showed off his scoring prowess in a finals game with Florida’s Miami-Dade North. He ended that game with a whooping 36 points which got his name printed in an issue of Sports Illustrated. After that, he transferred to North Carolina State University.
Webb’s entrance into the NBA was without fanfare and at first seemed to have been short lived. He was drafted in the 4th round by the Detroit Pistons but the team later cut him from the roster. But the Atlanta Hawks saw his potential and invited him to tryout for them. They liked what they saw and signed him for the 1985-1986 season. He played for the Hawks for 6 years until he moved to the Sacramento Kings in the 1991-1992 season. Spud ended his stint with the Kings in 1995 and then moved from one team to another even going back once to Atlanta. He played his last NBA game as an Orlando Magic in 1998.
Spud Webb’s more than 10 years of professional basketball career was an awesome success story of triumph over any physical limitation. He achieved his dreams by jumping higher than his competition that night of 1986 in the NBA Slam Dunk championship.
Currently working as a motivational speaker, Webb is now helping other people achieve what they think can not be done, just like what he did in his wonderful athletic career.