How tall do you have to be to dunk a basketball on a ten feet rim? Many basketball players dream of being capable of dunking but are under the fake impression that dunking is an ability limited to just the tallest of human beings.

With the average NBA players’ height being six feet seven in/2.01m (based on the player statistics from 1985-2006), it is simple to comprehend why a lot of individuals think that way. However, this statement is totally wrong. While being taller does have a considerable benefit, dunking on a ten-foot rim is possible for the shorter person. Certainly, being capable of dunking efficiently on a court full of giants protecting against you is another story. For answering the question, we first have to glance at the two key statistics that decide whether or not you can actually dunk. They are 1) the Standing Reach and 2) the Vertical Jump.

Standing Reach:

It’s how high you can actually get to with one arm while standing. For measuring it, just stand up and get to as high as you can. Individuals tend to be familiar with their own height, but their standing reach? Much less so, but when it is about dunking, standing reach is a lot!

Being tall clearly assists the standing reach, but arm length is also a huge factor. If we glance at the NBA’s Draft Combine, we can locate appealing cases such as one where a 6 feet 2 inches player has the same standing reach as a 6 feet 9 inches tall player!

On average, an individual’s standing reach is about 1.33 times bigger than their height. We have glanced at NBA Draft Combine statistics from 2015-2018 and glanced at how the reach-to-height ratio (standing reach actually divided by height) is different among players.

Basketball appears to favor the team members with longer arms. That is why it’s necessary to stop being anxious about the height and instead measure the standing reach for getting a better notion of whether or not dunking is within reach (pun intended).

Vertical Jump:

The other thing that actually determines whether or not you can actually dunk is the vertical jump. This one is more fascinating because whereas reach and height are genetically determined, the vertical jump can actually be trained.

There are a lot of training programs available that can considerably boost the vertical. The following is a small infographic that provides you with a notion of how the standing vertical jumps actually measure up. Note: A run-up will usually append between three to seven inches.

How Good Is The Vertical Jump?
<12” Very Poor (Do You Even Exercise?)
12”-16” Below Average (Needs Improvement)
16”-20” Average (Nothing Impressive)
20”-24” Good (Surely Not Bad)
24”-28” Great (Top Fifty Percent Athletes (All Sports)
28”-32” Athlete (NCAA D-1 Basketball Average)
32”-38” Excellent (NCAA D-1 Football Average)
38”+ Legendary (Michael Jordan, NFL Tier)

Now, let’s get an idea of how difficult or easy it’ll actually be to dunk, relying on the height.

  • Difficult: 5′7″ To 5′9″

While not unfeasible, dunking at this height will be difficult for the majority of individuals. Let’s suppose you are five foot nine inches and have normal-length arms. You will then have a standing reach of about seven foot seven inches. That denotes you will have to jump twenty-nine inches to touch the rim.

For dunking, you will have to be jumping around thirty-five inches high, which would actually be considered remarkable even in professional sports. In the NBA, there are teams’ members who constantly produce forty-plus inch running vertical jumps that allow them to carry out spectacular dunks during games. Well-liked examples are Spud Webb and Nate Robinson. However, achieving this level of physicality will be difficult.

  • Challenging: 5′10″ To 6′

If you’re close to being six-foot-tall, dunking becomes much simpler. You will have to jump roughly twenty-four inches for touching the rim and thirty inches for dunking a full-sized basketball.

While the height disparity between a five-foot nine-inch individual and a six-foot individual is just three inches, it is actually much simpler around this height for two reasons. First, when you prepare and are nearing the physical limits, the final few inches are actually the hardest to gain.

Second, a six-foot individual will (on average) have longer arms, appending another one inch to their standing reach disparity. In such a height range, very few individuals will be capable of dunking without actually training their jump. However, with a little bit of training, you’ll be capable of dunking quite easily.

  • Normal: 6′1″ To 6′3″

At such a height, athletic individuals will be capable of dunking without any serious dunk training. Many College and NFL football players fall in such a height range, and being considerably better jumpers than the basketball opponent numbers because of the football training’s explosive nature, dunking will prove no challenge. Individuals who are less fit physically will still have to undergo sufficient training.

  • Easy: 6′4″+

Even though being this tall, you will still have to be physically fit for dunking, after a little explosive conditioning, dunking will be comparatively simple. You have a huge gain over an average-sized individual. However, as the human body becomes larger, acceleration, reaction time, and strength-to-weight ratio reduce. Smaller human bodies are normally more athletic than bigger bodies.

It is therefore extremely rare to see sprinters like the renowned 6 feet 5 inches tall Usain Bolt. He’s very much an exception to this rule; the majority of sprinters fall under the 6 feet mark. Despite that, being tall is absolutely more of a benefit than not when it comes to dunking during a basketball game.