Last Updated on: 4th October 2023, 12:11 am
What is it about how high athletes can jump that amazes us?
Everyone worldwide can watch highlight reel after 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.
We will look at who has the highest vertical jump in the NBA, NCAA, NFL, and Track and Field.
Make your guess, who will have the highest vertical of all?
Who Has the Highest Vertical in NBA History?
The highest vertical jump in NBA history is held by four players: Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Darrell Griffith, and Keon Johnson – all with a record of 48 inches.
These extraordinary athletes have achieved heights far beyond the average NBA player’s vertical jump of 28 inches.
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.
Top 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.
NBA does not test players vertically properly, or some numbers may be misleading.
Nonetheless, when you watch the highlight reels, you can’t help but be amazed by how high the players get.
Every time someone gets posterized by a high flyer, it appears on the Top 10. We included 3 more to make a top 13 chart.
NBA players make it look easy, but who made the list of highest verticals in the history of the NBA?
|Player||Vertical Jump (inches)|
It is safe to say these players made an unforgettable highlight or two.
1. Wilt Chamberlain Vertical (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 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 and astonishing vertical made him a monster in scoring, rebounding and blocking.
2. Darrell Griffith Vertical (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 Darrell could get his head 4 inches above the rim with his hops.
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 Vertical (48” Inches)
Jordan is one of the best players who laced up their shoes and stepped onto an NBA court.
Micheal Jordan 48” inch vertical jump gave him nicknames like “Air Jordan” and “His Airiness.” Some people claim that he only had a 46″ vertical, but we are giving him the benefit of the doubt with 48″.
Jordan seems uniquely able 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 who 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. Keon Johnson (48 Inches)
Keon Johnson, also known as Jumping Jack, has an astounding 48-inch vertical, a record in the NBA combine, which is extraordinary for his explosive style of play.
Johnson has been pursuing recognition as one of the best-rising stars in basketball, and some believe he has the potential to get there.
Johnson is like a rocket blasting off when he charges down the court, and anyone in his path is either bypassed or dunked on.
Few other players in NBA history have exhibited Johnson’s speed, power, and jumping capability.
Jumping Jack’s potential to make headlines on any night with high-flying dunks is unparalleled…
A part of this is due to his world-record vertical leap.
Johnson may not have the highest vertical in-game, but he is one of the most exciting players to follow in the NBA.
5. Jason Richardson Vertical (46.5″ Inches)
Jason Richardson may not have the highest vertical jump on this list, but he is still one of the most exciting dunkers in the history of the NBA. Richardson was known for his high-flying acrobatics and his ability to put on a show for the fans.
Richardson’s vertical jump was measured at 46.5 inches, which is still impressive.
One of Richardson’s most memorable dunks came in the 2003 Slam Dunk Contest. He bounced the ball off the backboard, caught it with one hand, and threw down a reverse dunk, leaving the crowd in awe.
Richardson was also a solid all-around player. He averaged 17.1 points per game during his NBA career and was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2002.
His high-flying dunks and flashy style of play made him a fan favorite and helped to bring excitement to the sport.
6. Zach Lavine Vertical (46” Inches)
LaVine won back-to-back NBA dunk contests in 2015 and 2016…
Part of the reason he won 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 regarding 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.
7. D.J. Stephens Vertical (46″ Inches)
Stevens made history in the NBA pre-draft combine in 2013…
One of the key factors that etched his name in the annals of NBA history is his extraordinary leaping ability; D.J. Stevens’ vertical leap is a staggering 46 inches.
This places him in an elite league, surpassing the legendary Jordan in terms of jump height.
Stevens has showcased some of the most breathtaking leaps during the NBA pre-draft combine, with his head almost reaching the rim, a feat that left spectators and fellow athletes in awe.
Beyond the pre-draft combine, Stevens is renowned for his high-flying dunks during games, providing some of the most memorable highlight reels.
8. Shannon Brown Vertical (44.5″ Inches)
Brown was known for his athleticism and ability to throw down thunderous dunks. His highlight reels are filled with impressive slams, many of which came during his time with the Los Angeles Lakers.
His jump was measured at 44.5 inches, which puts him in elite company when it comes to jumping ability.
One of Brown’s most memorable dunks came in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals. With the Lakers leading by just one point in the fourth quarter, Brown rose and threw down a powerful dunk over the outstretched arm of Celtics center Kendrick Perkins.
Brown was also a solid defender and a valuable role player for several NBA teams.
9. LeBron James Vertical (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 in front of him is 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 in the Top 10 on any 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 one of the most dominant players ever played.
10. Ja Morant Vertical (44 Inches)
Ja Morant, also known as Ja Raffe, boasts a staggering 44-inch vertical, which is extraordinary for his athleticism.
Morant has been hunting for the title of the best young player in the basketball game, and some argue he’s well on his way.
Morant is like a lightning bolt when he sprints down the court, and anyone in his path is either sidestepped or posterized.
Few other players in NBA history have possessed Morant’s speed, agility, and leaping prowess.
Ja Raffe’s potential to land in the Top 10 on any night with jaw-dropping dunks is unparalleled…
This is in part due to his exceptional ability to leap vertically.
Morant may not have the highest vertical on the list, but he is one of the most electrifying players.
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.
These records for the NBA draft combined 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.
How does DJ Stephens’ vertical jump compare to the best vertical the NBA offers?
Vertical Jumps In Other Sports Examples:
Who Holds The Highest Vertical In The NFL?
NFL players 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,
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’s record…
So please enjoy Saquon Barkley getting up at 41” inches with his vertical jump in 2018.
Who Holds The World Record For High Jump In Track And Field?
Javier Sotomayor 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 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
Michael Wilson, a Harlem Globetrotter named “Wild Thing, ” holds the world’s highest dunk record.”
Wilson dunked on a basketball goal 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 offer a free Vert Shock PDF to start your jumping journey…
You can download it below.
Who Has The Highest Measured Vertical At The NBA Draft Combine?
Dj Stephens has the highest vertical at the NBA Draft Combine in the no-step and Max verticals. Dj no-step vertical was measured at 40 inches and his max vertical was measured at 46 inches.
Who Has The Highest Vertical In The NBA History?
Wilt Chamberlain is rumored to have the highest NBA 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.
How Does The NBA Test Or Measure Vertical Jumps?
The NBA uses a Max Touch Vertical Leap Test to measure an athlete’s vertical jump. This test is performed by having the athlete stand next to a wall with a marker on their hand that they will use to reach up and touch the highest point possible on the wall.
The players take a few steps back and jump as high as possible, reaching up with their marker hand to touch the wall again. The difference between the two marks is the athlete’s Max Touch Vertical Leap.