Every Bulls fan – hell, every NBA fan – has been thrilled by Derrick Rose's explosive dunks since he arrived in the league. Unfortunately, though, due (presumably) in part to self-preservation, and more recently to the obvious fact that he still hasn't fully recovered from back issues, Rose's signature two-handed power dunks have largely been missing from his repertoire this season.
So these days, when I hear Stacy King rave about Rose's 40" vertical, which used to punctuate a fierce tomahawk jam, I find my mind drifting to – of all things – NFL football. Why? Because I happened to be perusing the NFL combine archives, and noticed something truly remarkable.
The second highest vertical leap in combine history was recorded by an athlete even bigger and stronger than Rose – Cameron (Derek) Wake. At 6' 3", 236lbs., Wake, who went undrafted in 2005 in spite of his exceptional athletic gifts, recorded a 45.5" vert! He's now an all-star for the Dolphins, rocking the league with his horizontal and lateral talents.
Back in 2007, though, Wake played for the British Columbia Lions. And at that time, someone had the presence of mind to film a little locker room challenge. Some bills were taped to the ceiling (11' 8"), and Wake, a sculpted mass of muscle, snares them (gotta love the raucous celebrating done by his teammates!). Of course we'd all prefer to see Derrick posterize a helpless defender with a nasty slam, but for the time being, perhaps some will find this to be a interesting diversion...