Discover Spud Webb’s NBA Path: It’s Not What You Think!

Last Updated on: 19th September 2023, 05:14 pm

Growing up, my house was filled with basketball posters, cards, and memorabilia. But one card always caught my eye: a 5’7″ dynamo named Spud Webb. In a league where height is often seen as a ticket to success, how did someone of his stature rise to stardom?

Let’s dive into Spud Webb’s journey to NBA fame, a tale of a player who proved that you can defy the odds with enough vertical, heart, and skill.

Spud Webb's journey to NBA

Early Life and High School Days

The Underdog from Jersey

Born in Dallas but having spent much of his youth in Jersey, Spud Webb was always the shortest player on the court. But what he lacked in height, he made up for with sheer determination. I remember my dad telling me about a high school game he attended where Spud, despite being the shortest on the court, was the most electrifying player, making jumps that seemed impossible for his stature.

The Rise of a Star at Midland College

After high school, Spud took his talents to Midland College. Now, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Midland, and let me tell you, it’s not the kind of place you’d expect an NBA star to emerge from. But Spud? He lit up the court, proving he wasn’t just a high school wonder.

Midland College to NC State

College Transition

From Midland, Spud transferred to NC State, where he continued to defy expectations. I’ve watched some of his college highlights and man, his vertical was something else! It’s no wonder he caught the eyes of NBA scouts, marking the beginning of Spud Webb’s journey to NBA prominence.

Making a Name

At NC State, Spud wasn’t just another player but a sensation. His ability to jump and his speed and agility made him a force to be reckoned with. Here, he truly prepared himself for the next big step: the NBA.

The NBA Draft and The Atlanta Hawks

Draft Day Skepticism

When draft day arrived, many were skeptical. I mean, the NBA is a league of giants, right? But the Atlanta Hawks saw potential in this short powerhouse and decided to take a chance on him, furthering Spud Webb’s journey to NBA greatness.

Proving the Doubters Wrong

And boy, did it pay off! Spud quickly became a fan favorite. I remember my uncle, a die-hard Hawks fan, raving about this new player making waves despite his height.

The Slam Dunk Contest: David vs. Goliath

The Ultimate Showdown

The 1986 Slam Dunk Contest is the stuff of legends. Many thought Spud didn’t stand a chance going up against the likes of Michael Jordan. But he had something up his sleeve: an insane vertical jump and dunking skill that left everyone, including Jordan, in awe.

A Household Name

Winning that contest didn’t just earn Spud a trophy; it made him a household name. I’ve got a poster from that contest in my room, and every time I look at it, I’m reminded of the sheer determination and skill that Spud brought to the game.

The Sacramento Kings and Beyond

Reigning in Sacramento

After his time with the Hawks, Spud moved to the Sacramento Kings. Here, he continued to shine, proving that his success wasn’t just a flash in the pan. I’ve got a buddy who’s a die-hard Kings fan, and he swears that Spud is one of the best players ever to don the jersey.

Stints with Orlando and Charlotte

Spud also had brief stints with the Orlando Magic and the Charlotte Hornets. While these weren’t the most notable parts of his career, they further solidified his standing in the league.

Legacy and Impact

More Than Just a Player

Spud’s impact went beyond the court. His McFarlane figure, which I proudly display in my living room, is a testament to his lasting legacy. And let’s not forget the iconic card collections and posters that became a staple in every basketball fan’s house.

Inspiring the Next Generation

Spud’s story is a beacon of hope for the next players. His interactions with towering figures like Manute Bol showcased the stark contrast in their heights and their mutual respect for each other’s skills.

Life After Basketball

Current Endeavors

Today, Spud is still very much involved in the basketball community. He’s had roles with teams like the Orlando Magic and the Charlotte Hornets, proving his love for the game goes beyond just playing.

A Lasting Legacy

For many, Spud Webb is a reminder that you can overcome any obstacle with enough determination, skill, and heart. As a 25-year-old introduced to his legacy long after his retirement, I can confidently say that his story inspires basketball fans worldwide.


Spud Webb’s journey to NBA stardom from Jersey high school courts is remarkable. In a world where height is often considered a prerequisite for success, Spud proved that you can defy the odds with enough vertical, determination, and skill. And for someone like me, who’s always been on the shorter side, his story is a constant source of inspiration.

You can learn more Spud Webb facts here.