Tuesday, May 25, 2004

The first guy to dunk...ever

There's an interesting story in yesterday's LA Times (free subscription) about when and where the dunk first took place. Times writer Larry Stewart found John Isaacs, 88, who played on an all-black barnstorming team in the 1930s, and he this is how he remembered it:
"...the first person he ever heard of dunking was Jackie Robinson, who was only 5 feet 11. But he was the 1940 NCAA broad jump champion at UCLA, winning with a mark of 24 feet 10 1/4 inches.

"Guys would talk and people said that out in California, Jackie was the first one to elevate and go over the rim," Isaacs said."
Jackie Robinson also ran track and played football at UCLA and he actually played against a self-proclaimed 'awful athlete' from nearby Whittier College -- future president Richard Nixon.