What is it about how high athletes can jump that amazes us?
Everyone all over the world can watch highlight reel after highlight reel of the world’s best dunkers…
No matter if it is the Team Flight Bros or Michael Jordan taking off from the free-throw line.
The average vertical jump for a male is only 16 to 20 inches.
But how does this stack up against the highest verticals in all of the sports?
In this article, we will take a look at who has the highest vertical jump in NBA, NCAA, NFL, and Track and Field.
Make your guess, who will have the highest vertical of all?
NBA Highest Vertical Jump Records
The NBA is loaded with high flyers and has been for years. When it comes to vertical jumping is one of the primary skills that every basketball player wants.
Some players seem to be born with it, and others are not so much.
The average NBA vertical jump is 28” inches.
Not really that high, right? You can find that at any local court. What about the high flyers in the NBA, who make dunking look easy?
Let’s see how high they jump.
Who holds The Record For Best Vertical At The NBA Draft Combine?
The NBA Draft Combine is where all the top college players go and showcase their skills in front of NBA coaches in hopes of impressing them enough to get drafted.
One of the skills tested in the NBA draft combine is the vertical jump and maximum vertical jump.
The vertical jump test is when the player has no step, and the max vertical test is when the player is allowed to take steps before takeoff.
Both these records for the NBA draft combine are held by the same person, DJ Stephens.
DJ notched a no-step vertical jump of 40 inches while his maximum vertical was 46 inches.
These values are much higher than the NBA average.
Now how does DJ Stephens’ vertical jump compare to the best vertical the NBA has to offer?
10 Highest Vertical Jumps In The NBA Ever
The NBA will always have high flyers in the league, but sometimes it is hard to find who has the highest vertical jumps of them all.
NBA does not test players vertically properly, or some numbers may be misleading.
But nonetheless, when you watched the highlight reels, you can’t help but be amazed by how high the players get up.
It seems like every time someone gets posterized by a high flyer, it appears on the Top 10.
NBA players make it look so easy, but who made the list of highest verticals in NBA history?
It is safe to say these players made an unforgettable highlight or two.
1. Wilt Chamberlain (48″ Inches)
Wilt Chamberlain, “The Big Dipper,” was 7’1 with a vertical of 48 inches; Wilt has a career average of 22.9 rebounds per game.
There have been many stories about Wilt not being human, and with his career stats and vertical being 48″ inches, I can almost believe it…
Wilt has many NBA records, 72 to be exact; some of these will likely never be broken, or at least any time soon…
Some of these records are his famous 100-point game averaging 50.4 points per game in the 1961-1962 season.
Wilt’s height, combined with his astonishing vertical, made him a monster in scoring, rebounding and blocking.
2. Darrell Griffith (48” Inches)
Most likely, the least-known player known on the list, Darrell Griffith, played his entire career with the Utah Jazz.
Donovan Mitchell even paid tribute to him in the 2018 Slam Dunk Contest when he donned Griffith’s Jazz uniform while making his second dunk…
Griffith was nicknamed Dr. Dunkenstein, and with a name like that, you better be able to fly through the air and dunk the ball…
Darrell Griffith’s vertical leap is 48″ inches and he made a career with his unique jumping ability, after all, he is tied with Wilt Chamberlain for the Highest NBA vertical jump.
He was only 6’4, and with his hops, Darrell could get his head 4 inches above the rim.
Since Griffith’s retirement in 1991, his uniform was retired by the Utah Jazz in 1993, and he was introduced into the NBA Hall of Fame in 2014.
Enjoy this video of Darrell Griffith’s highlights against the bulls in 1985.
3. Michael Jordan (46” Inches)
Jordan is one of the best players who ever laced up their shoes and stepped on an NBA court.
Micheal Jordan 46” inch vertical jump gave him nicknames like “Air Jordan” and “His Airiness.”
Jordan seems to have a unique ability to float through the air and stay there.
This ability lead to Jordan shocking the world when he took off from the free-throw line and dunked the ball…
Besides that, Jordans has multiple highlights of him flying through the air and dunking on anyone that got in the way; even Dikembe Mutombo was a victim.
Jordan never cared who was in the way, if you were at the rim, you were getting dunked on.
4. Zach Lavine (46” Inches)
LaVine won back-to-back NBA dunk contests in 2015 and 2016…
Part of the reason he was able to win back-to-back dunk contests is that he is a freak of nature, Zach LaVine’s vertical is 46 inches…
This puts him in the same company as Jordan when it comes to jumping ability.
LaVine has given us some of the best dunks during the NBA dunk contest with windmills, between-the-legs reverse dunks, and a free-throw line dunk.
Besides the dunk contest, LaVine is known for putting down some highlight dunks in-game.
5. LeBron James (44” inches”)
LeBron James also known as King James has an unbelievable 44-inch vertical, which is impressive for his size.
James has been chasing the crown for the best player ever to play the game of basketball, and some say he already has it.
James is like a freight train when he comes down the lane, and anyone who gets in front of him is either being run over or dunked on.
No other players in NBA history have had James’s speed, strength, and jumping ability.
The King’s ability to be on the Top 10 on any given night with monster dunks is unmatched…
Part of this is because of his vertical leaping ability.
James may not have the highest vertical on the list, but he is definitely one of the most dominant players ever played.
6. Vince Carter (43″ Inches)
Vinsanity and Half Man Half Amazing were nicknames given to Vince Carter…
Multiple NBA players have a higher vertical than Carter.
Vince Carter’s vertical is 43 inches; this puts him at the lower end of this list…
But Vinsanity is arguably the best in-game dunker that has ever played in the NBA.
Carter was the only player to jump over a 7-foot 2-inch player in-game during the 2000 Olympics.
The dunk was nasty that the French media named the slam dunk “le dunk de la mort,” which is translated to “the dunk of death.”
Carter has honored us with many highlight reels, check out the video below for his top dunks.
Who Holds The Highest Vertical In The NFL?
NFL players really only measure their vertical at the NFL combine…
A difference between the NFL combine, and the NBA combine is that the NFL combine only measures a standing vert.
Meaning there is no step before the player jumps.
NFL player’s average vertical is 31” inches,
Yes, typically, NFL players on average have a higher vertical than NBA players.
This can be because of the pure strength NFL players must-have for the sport.
The player with the most power and the highest vertical in the NFL is Gerald Sensabaigh…
In 2005, Sensabaigh set the record for the highest vertical jump in the NFL to combine at 46” inches…
This record is yet to be broken. Unfortunately, there are not many videos of NFL players getting up there during the combine or Gerald Sensabaigh record…
So please enjoy Saquon Barkley getting up there at 41” inches with his vertical jump in 2018.
Who Holds The World Record For High Jump In Track And Field?
Javier Sotomayor currently holds the record of the highest high jump in Track and Field with an 8 ½ foot jump.
Sotomayor did this in 1993, and the reordered is still standing to this day, which makes it the longest-standing record in the history of the men’s high jump…
I do not see anyone beating it anytime soon.
He was able to accomplish this feat by using the Fosbury Flop method.
This method allows for maximum vertical in the high jump, and in the video below, you can see the arch of his back when parallel with the poll and the leg kick at the end to clear the bar.
Watch him set the world record below…
Highest Box Jump In the World
The record for the highest box jump ever is held by a professional dunker Jordan Kilganon….
Jordan’s box jump that set the world record was 75” inches…
That is an insane amount of athleticism…
He is one of the best dunkers in the world…
Kilganon has won multiple dunk contests, and if you have not seen his dunks, you need to.
His signature dunk, the scorpion dunk, is sick!
Kilganon has been featured on the show Dunk League, which brings the world’s most innovative dunkers together to compete…
One of my favorite shows, you can check it out here…
Ohh, I almost forgot he even surprised an NBA legend, Gary Payton, with his skills, and he was dunking in pants…
Don’t believe he did a 75” inch box jump. Watch it below…
World’s Highest Dunk
The world’s highest dunk record is held by Michael Wilson, a Harlem Globetrotter with the nickname “Wild Thing.”
Wilson dunked on a basketball goal that was set to 12 feet on April 1, 2000.
An interesting fact is Wilt Chamberlain was also known to do this in the 1950s,
But the difference was that Wilson was given an alley-oop, while Chamberlain did not have the luxury of an alley-oop.
In 2001 Robertas Javtokas repeated the record of dunking on a 12-foot goal, but since Wilson did it first, he gets the credit.
Check out Michael Wilson’s record-setting dunk below…
The athletes on this list have amazing vertical leaping abilities, that they trained their whole life for.
Most of these athletes have personal trainers and coaches to get them to this level…
But if you are a basketball player, Football player, volleyball player, or involved in a sport where a vertical jump is beneficial.
Then I suggest checking out the program Vert Shock, I went through the program and did a full detailed review that you can check out here.
We also compared the best vertical jump programs too…
We are offering a free Vert Shock PDF to get you started on your jumping journey…
You can download it below.
Q: WHO HAS THE HIGHEST MEASURED VERTICAL AT THE NBA DRAFT COMBINE?
Dj Stephens has the highest vertical at the NBA Draft Combine in both the no-step vertical and Max vertical. Dj no-step vertical was measured at 40 inches and his max vertical was measured at 46 inches.
Q: WHO HAS THE HIGHEST VERTICAL IN THE NBA HISTORY?
Wilt Chamberlain is rumored to have the highest vertical at 48 inches, while Darrell Griffith also has a 48-inch vertical. Michael Jordan only has a 46-inch vertical officially but people will argue he had a 48-inch vertical also.
Q: WHO HAS THE HIGHEST VERTICAL IN THE NFL?
Gerald Sensabaigh has the highest vertical in the NFL, he measured a 46-inch vertical at the NFL Draft Combine. Keep in mind that the NFL Draft Combine only measures a player standing vert.
Q: WHAT IS THE RECORD FOR THE HIGH JUMP IN TRACK AND FIELD?
The record holder for the high jump in Track and Field is Javier Sotomayor with an 8 1/2 foot jump. This is the longest-standing record in history since this peat was achieved in 1993.
Q: WHAT IS THE RECORD FOR THE HIGHEST BOX JUMP?
The record for the highest box jump is held by Jordan Kilganon who competed a 75-inch box jump. This comes as no surprise because Kilganon is one of the worlds leading dunkers.