VIDEO: Dwight Howard stopped by the ESPN Sport Science lab to prove he’s the NBA player with the highest documented reach — wired with pressure distribution and forces sensors in his shoes applied by Dr. Cynthia Bir (Wayne State University).
Prior to the test jump, the highest documented NBA vertical reach is held by Shaquille O’Neal at 12’5″. Howard was outfitted with pressure distribution and forces sensors in his shoes.
Dwight Howard, with a standing reach of 9’2.5″, was suspected of beating O’Neal’s record during a dunk contest when he stuck a large sticker on the backboard. However, the sticker was a large size that could have misrepresented the height measurement. Howard would need a 39″ vertical jump to break O’Neal’s record.
With a basketball rim height of 10′, Howard would have to make a chalk mark with his fingertips 29″ above the rim to tie O’Neal’s record. His first attempt was 28.75″ inches above the rim. His second attempt was successful with a mark 30″ above the rim — a maximum jump reach of 12’6″ — a 39.5″ jump height. The sensors in his shoes measured Howard’s 280-LB body pushoff force at 1,210 LBS and generating 1.560 Watts of power.
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