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Spud Webb

Spud Webb

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Encyclopedia
Anthony Jerome Webb also known as Spud Webb, is a retired American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 NBA
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

 professional basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 point guard
Point guard
Point guard , also called the play maker or "the ball-handler", is one of the standard positions in a regulation basketball game. A point guard has perhaps the most specialized role of any position – essentially, he is expected to run the team's offense by controlling the ball and making sure that...

 most notable for winning a slam dunk contest despite being one of the shortest NBA players in the history of the league. He is currently the President of Basketball Operations for the Texas Legends, the D-League team for the Dallas Mavericks in Frisco, Texas
Frisco, Texas
Frisco is an affluent city in Collin and Denton Counties in the U.S. state of Texas and a rapidly growing suburb of Dallas. As of the 2010 Census, 116,989 people were living in Frisco up from 33,714 in the previous census. Frisco was the fastest growing city in the United States in 2009, and also...

.

Early years


Webb was born into poverty. He was raised in a small two-bedroom home and used basketball as an inspiration. Webb was never tall, but he used his quickness and jumping ability to outplay the other kids. At Wilmer-Hutchins High School
Wilmer-Hutchins High School
Wilmer-Hutchins High School is a public secondary school in Dallas, Texas . A part of the Dallas Independent School District, Wilmer-Hutchins High was formerly part of the now defunct Wilmer-Hutchins Independent School District....

, he played on the junior varsity team where he made a large impact. When he got on the varsity team, he averaged 26 points per game. During his senior season, when he first made a dunk at a school game, he was 5 feet 6 inches (168 cm) tall. After high school, he attended Midland College
Midland College
Midland College was established as an independent junior college in 1972 and held its first classes on campus in 1975. Since that time, the campus has expanded to a main campus on in Midland, Texas, United States - a county seat of over 100,000 people in the Permian Basin region of west Texas...

 and North Carolina State University
North Carolina State University
North Carolina State University at Raleigh is a public, coeducational, extensive research university located in Raleigh, North Carolina, United States. Commonly known as NC State, the university is part of the University of North Carolina system and is a land, sea, and space grant institution...

, where he averaged 10.4 points and 5.7 assists per game throughout college.

Midland College


Despite his impressive high school record, colleges showed little interest in Webb. Standing at 5 feet 7 inches (170 cm) tall, he received his first opportunity to play on a college basketball team when he attended Midland College
Midland College
Midland College was established as an independent junior college in 1972 and held its first classes on campus in 1975. Since that time, the campus has expanded to a main campus on in Midland, Texas, United States - a county seat of over 100,000 people in the Permian Basin region of west Texas...

 (in Midland, Texas
Midland, Texas
Midland is a city in and the county seat of Midland County, Texas, United States, on the Southern Plains of the state's western area. A small portion of the city extends into Martin County. As of 2010, the population of Midland was 111,147. It is the principal city of the Midland, Texas...

), where he led the Chaparrals to the junior college national title in 1982. In the championship game, Midland defeated #1-ranked and previously unbeaten Miami-Dade North of Florida, 93 to 88, in double overtime. Webb led all scorers in that game with 36 points, making 10 of 15 shots from the floor and 16 of 18 from the free-throw line. His performance at the tournament earned Webb a write-up in Sports Illustrated, and national attention. In 1983, he was named an NJCAA All-American by the National Junior College Athletic Association
National Junior College Athletic Association
The National Junior College Athletic Association , founded in 1938, is an association of community college and junior college athletic departments throughout the United States. It is held as Divisions and Regions. The current NJCAA holds 24 separate regions.-History:The idea for the NJCAA was...

.

North Carolina State University


Webb attracted the attention of Tom Abatemarco, an assistant coach at North Carolina State University, who arranged for Webb to meet head coach Jim Valvano
Jim Valvano
James Thomas Anthony "Jim" Valvano , nicknamed Jimmy V, was an American college basketball coach.While the head basketball coach at North Carolina State University, he won the 1983 NCAA Basketball Tournament against high odds...

, who offered Webb a scholarship.

NBA career (1985-1998)


Webb was then drafted in the 4th round of the 1985 NBA Draft
1985 NBA Draft
The 1985 NBA Draft took place on June 18, 1985. It was also the first NBA Draft of the "Lottery" era. A total of 162 players were selected over 7 rounds by the league's 23 teams. The New York Knicks were awarded the first overall pick, by winning the first-ever NBA Draft Lottery, which was held...

 by the Detroit Pistons
Detroit Pistons
The Detroit Pistons are a franchise of the National Basketball Association based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The team's home arena is The Palace of Auburn Hills. It was originally founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana as the Fort Wayne Pistons as a member of the National Basketball League in 1941, where...

. His first six seasons were played with the Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks are an American professional basketball team based in Atlanta, Georgia. They are part of the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association .-The first years:...

, but he had his best years statistically with the Sacramento Kings
Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings are a professional basketball team based in Sacramento, California, United States. They are currently members of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association...

, where he played as a starter from 1992-1995. He then split a season between the Atlanta Hawks and the Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves are an American professional basketball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association . Founded in 1989, the team is currently owned by Glen Taylor...

 before finishing his career after one season with the Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic is a professional basketball team based in Orlando, Florida. They play in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association and are currently coached by Stan Van Gundy...

 and retiring from professional basketball in 1998. Webb played 814 games in his NBA career, averaging 9.9 points per game, and registering 8072 points and 4342 assists in twelve seasons.

Since Webb made his NBA debut, only two players have been shorter than he was: Earl Boykins
Earl Boykins
Earl Antoine Boykins is an American professional basketball player who most recently played for the Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA. Standing at 5 feet, 5 inches in height, he is the second shortest player in NBA history behind Muggsy Bogues, who was 5 feet, 3 inches tall. His NBA listed...

 and Muggsy Bogues
Muggsy Bogues
Tyrone Curtis "Muggsy" Bogues is a retired American professional basketball player and former head coach of the now-defunct Charlotte Sting of the Women's National Basketball Association . The shortest player ever to play in the NBA, the Bogues played point guard for four teams during his...

.

NBA Slam Dunk Contest


Webb was the shortest person to compete in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, winning the event in 1986. His participation surprised the media; including his teammate and defending dunk champion Dominique Wilkins
Dominique Wilkins
Jacques Dominique Wilkins is a retired American professional basketball player who primarily played for the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA...

, who had "never seen me dunk before," Webb said. His dunks included the elevator two-handed double pump dunk, the one-handed off the backboard one-handed jam, a 360-degree helicopter one-handed dunk, a 180-degree reverse double-pump slam, and finally, the 180-degree reverse two-handed strawberry jam from a lob bounce off the floor. He defeated Wilkins with two perfect 50-point scores in the final round. Atlanta coach Mike Fratello said, "Spud kind of duped him. He told Wilkins he never had anything prepared, didn't practice for it. So, Wilkins maybe thought his normal assortment would be good enough to get through". Twenty years after Webb's victory in the Slam Dunk contest, he trained New York Knicks
New York Knicks
The New York Knickerbockers, prominently known as the Knicks, are a professional basketball team based in New York City. They are part of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association...

 point guard Nate Robinson
Nate Robinson
Nathaniel Cornelius Robinson is an American professional basketball player who plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder...

 (who stands at 5 feet 9 inches tall) to win the event. Webb tossed the ball to Robinson, who leaped over Webb and dunked, earning 50 points from the judges. Robinson went on to win, making him and Spud the only two people in NBA history under six feet tall to win a slam dunk contest.

Webb was a judge for the 2010 Dunk contest in Dallas. It was the first time the event has been in Dallas since Webb's win in 1986.

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