Don't you really wonder what the NBA guys could do? Or the Harlem Globetrotter who could pick a quarter off the top of the backboard. Dwight Stones and Dick Fosbury both claimed that didn't have the big verts that those guys do. Sigh.
yeah, OK, that makes sense - NOT! There IS more involved with technique et al, but I'm willing to wager several hundred thousand (monopoly $$) that there is a very high correlation between vertical ups and success in the HJ.
I'm not a high jumper, but I would guess the correlation is not as high as you would think...
Aside from vertical height, the high jumper must also have the skill to essentially bring his legs and feet level with his head while traveling over the bar in a very short amount of time.
With lots and lots of practice, perhaps there's a basketball player out there who could be a decent high jumper. But, I wouldn't bet all of the monopoly $$$ in the world that he could compete with the high jumpers.
I'm dubious about claims by BB-players about snatching coins from the top of backboards... I've read about that a lot but never seen it done. Seems like if someone could do that on video tape it would be a sensational career booster. I WAS a high jumper and coach and in my experience there was no predictable correlation between elevation on the court and good hj marks. Some people could really sky with a ball in hand, others could hj way overhead and some few could do both. It depends on body type and flexibility. Surely Michael Jordan could have been a world class high jumper, maybe a world record holder. But some spectacular dunkers like Spud Webb launch themselves off both feet nearly simultaneously (as do all high flying volleyball players) and would find it tough to adapt to a traditional, legal high jump approach.
Did anyone ever think that those other sports one could make more money at them? Michale Jordan is good example He made more playing one season of basketball than he would have in a careeer of high jumping. Track loses out to the "glamour"sports because of media attention , fan hoopla, and most of all $$$. As a coach who has lost athletes to other sports and coaches againt other multi sport athletes There are great leapers that could make great high jumpers. Yes technique has a significant role in jumping over a bar, but I don't think anyone would complain about having great vertical displacement (ups as the streeters would call it) IE lifting the Center of gravity higher thus having a greater probalbility of getting over the bar. Look at Rick Noji at 5'8" who could dunk a basketball that's in the 36" plus range. So imagine an athlete with evivilant leaping ability that is taller (higher center of gravity)!!!
One thing I always find interesting is how speed in the run up translates into a higher jump. On this other site that I go to which is frequented by weightlifters they could not understand the difference between a vertical leap and a running jump. They all assumed the vert was king. My vert was only around 24 inches in high school but I was able to go over 6' at a height of 5'8" due mostly to the speed on my run up and my leg strength. Also helped that I weighed only 155 then.
now there's something I never understood. I can jump much higher off one leg that two. Why is it illegal to jump off two? When bballers dunk they only go off two legs when they have to. In the open court, they always go off one. I see gymnasts do that run and punch front somersault and they look like they're way high in the air, but if you look at the background cues, they really aren't that high.
I have no doubts that a gymnast doing backflips could generate enough energy to get 8-footish off the ground with both feet. Problem would come in learning how to build a runup that would ensure that the peak of your arc came over the bar and that you had enough travel before and after.
As a personal aside, I high jumped my height (a massive 5-9) using the straddle in a decathlon in high school. While in college, as a fun (and we figured torso-strengthening) workout some friends and I used to set the bar at 6-feet, run at it straight on, bounce up with both feet and go over head first. The rule was, though, that you had to land on your stomach in the pit, no tuck and roll. That's where the torso-conditioning came in.
We'd do reps of it for half an hour or so. Not sure the coaching staff ever noticed, or we probably woulda been kicked off the field!
There is the long-standing claim that a gymnast named Dick Browning somersaulted a ht. of 7'6" back in 1954 and that a Chinese acrobat called Chian Xse did a running flip over 8'6". The tough part here is that if a skilled gymnast generates lots of speed, then launches off both feet to transfer the speed into vertical force, no doubt lots of altitude can be attained. If one foot leaves the ground a split second before the other, does that constitute a legal jump? It should be legal, but what field judge is capable of making that call without a close up video instant replay? Watch volleyball players who really fly... normally they employ the same technique: a quick approach of several strides, then convert horizontal to vertical energy with a two foot push off, but one foot often leaves the ground a half beat before the other. Could they then do a back or front layout and have a legal high jump? I dunno!