This Day in Black History: Feb 8, 1986

1986-1987:  Guard Anthony (Spud) Webb of the Atlanta Hawks         leaps to victory during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn  /Allsport

This Day in Black History: Feb 8, 1986

Spud Webb wins NBA slam dunk contest in Dallas on Feb. 8, 1986.

Published February 7, 2014

Spud Webb, a member of the Atlanta Hawks basketball team, was well known for being not only a skillful player, but also for being one for the shortest in the sport at the professional level. So Webb, who at 5 feet 7 inches, won the attention of the sports world when he beat his teammate Dominique Wilkins to win the NBA slam dunk contest on Feb. 8, 1986. Wilkins was the previous year’s winner.

Anthony Jerome “Spud” Webb was born July 13, 1963, in Dallas and felt a strong urge to demonstrate his basketball acumen, despite his relatively small size. Despite a strong college career, his size initially kept him from making the NBA. After graduation, he played in the U.S. Basketball League. In 1985, he had a successful tryout with the Atlanta Hawks and joined the team. Webb played six seasons with the Hawks, followed by stints with the Sacramento Kings, the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Orlando Magic.

The slam dunk event was one of the most notable of his career, which took place at the NBA All-Star game weekend in Dallas. Webb became the shortest player in the competition’s history to participate in the contest. Webb retired from basketball in 1998, after 12 seasons in the NBA.

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(Photo: Stephen Dunn/Allsport/Getty Images)

Written by Jonathan P. Hicks


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