Have you ever wondered who can jump the highest? The human body’s ability to defy gravity and reach impressive heights is truly awe-inspiring. In the realm of sports and athleticism, the record for the highest vertical jump is a coveted title.

In this article, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of vertical jumps, explore the incredible achievements of athletes, and unveil the individual who holds the record for the highest vertical jump.

Understanding the Vertical Jump

Who Holds the Record for the Highest Vertical Jump

Before we dive into the record-holder, let’s grasp the concept of a vertical jump. A vertical jump measures how high an individual can lift their body off the ground solely using their leg power.

It’s a fundamental metric in various sports such as basketball, volleyball, and track and field. Athletes who can achieve remarkable vertical jumps have a distinct advantage in these sports.

Also, read Health Benefits of Basketball

The Evolution of Vertical Jump Records

Over the years, the record for the highest vertical jump has witnessed incredible leaps – pun intended. Athletes constantly push their limits, training rigorously to achieve greater heights.

This evolution showcases the remarkable potential of the human body and the relentless pursuit of excellence in sports.

Also, read Basketball Referee Signals

Breaking Down the Record-Holders

Who Holds the Record for the Highest Vertical Jump

Let’s explore some of the notable athletes who have held the record for the highest vertical jump:

1. Kenny Gregory holds the highest vertical leap record, with a jump of 39.5  inches (100.3 cm) in 2001

Kenny Gregory and Nick Young are the only players in NBA history to have a vertical leap of 39.5″. This extraordinary achievement is not something that anybody else can do.

However, when it comes to the NBA’s highest-standing vertical leap, we must also remember DJ Stephens. Many people believe he has gained 40 inches in height (101 cm).

This result, however, does not show on any official website for the draft Combine or his university, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

2. Official NFL Record: 46 inches (101.6 cm) Gerald Sensabaugh (2005)

Gerald Sensabaugh reigns supreme in the NFL when it comes to vertical jump. With an impressive 46 inches, he occupies the top spot!

Because it is typically beneath the running vertical distance, there are no unofficial records for this sort of leap.

3. NBA official record: 45.5 inches (115.5 cm)

Kenny Gregory is well-known for having the best vertical jump in NBA history, leaping to an incredible height of 45.5 inches during the 2000 draft Combine.

Kenny Gregory had the most incredible running vertical jump at 45.5 inches, according to NBA Combine data from 2001. According to rumors, DJ Stephens has achieved 46 inches, the official record.

Because there is no official record for any other players, we may conclude that this result suffices until someone breaks it.

4. 49.5 inches Unofficial Record

Jordan Kilganon set a new record for the vertical jump with a 49.5-inch leap. Kilganon is a dunker recognized for his innovation and flair, and his performance during the 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend wowed fans.

Jordan Kilganon made a mark during the 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend with his incredible dunks. He set up a test that reached an astonishing height of 49.5 inches, but Guinness World Records has yet to acknowledge it as an official record.

5. Unofficial World Record: 56 inches

Kadour Ziani is a long-time professional dunker with incredible dunking ability. When observing him, his fast hands and significant jump stick out.

Ziani possesses a 56-inch running vertical leap and owns the unofficial official record for that event. However, there is little proof that his leaping was high or constant; various sources report variable jump heights.

While Zianzi’s vertical remains shrouded in mystery, there’s no denying that he made a significant jump after seeing his recordings.

65 inches is the highest platform vertical jump

This approach involves trying to leap onto a platform with a predefined height. The results are often more successful because you must internally tuck your legs to board the platform while leaping.

Reach was utilized to measure vertical distance in the preceding two approaches. This approach considers the whole distance traveled from the ground, resulting in an immense value than the previous two methods.

1. Official record: 65 inches

The official height of the highest platform leap in the Guinness World Records is 5 feet 5 inches, which Brett Williams accomplished in 2019.

2. Unofficial World Record: 64.44 inches

Stan Efferding may have been the first to break Evan Ungar’s record before Bret Williams formally. His technique and execution are near-perfect, as he uses the momentum created by squatting to drive himself onto the stack of plates he had put up.

Also, read Physical and Mental Health Benefits of Basketball

Pushing the Boundaries: What Sets Record-Holders Apart?

Who Holds the Record for the Highest Vertical Jump

Achieving record-breaking vertical jumps requires more than just raw athleticism. It demands unwavering commitment, rigorous training, and a deep understanding of biomechanics.

Successful athletes focus on explosive leg strength, impeccable timing, and efficient technique. Their preparation is a testament to the fusion of science and sports.

The Epitome of Athletic Achievement

In the realm of vertical jumps, holding the record signifies more than just a numerical feat. It symbolizes the epitome of athletic achievement – the culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and a burning desire to reach new heights.

Record-holders become an inspiration for aspiring athletes, proving that the impossible can indeed become possible.

Also, read What is a Triple Double in Basketball?

Unveiling the Ultimate Record-Holder

And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for – unveiling the ultimate record-holder for the highest vertical jump:

Sheldon Reader: Touching the Sky

Sheldon Reader, a name etched in the annals of sports history. With a vertical jump of an astounding 65 inches, Reader propelled himself to unparalleled heights. His remarkable feat showcases the pinnacle of human potential and the astonishing capabilities of the human body.


How is a vertical jump measured? 

A vertical jump is measured by the maximum height an individual can jump off the ground using their leg power alone.

Can anyone improve their vertical jump? 

Yes, with proper training, dedication, and guidance, individuals can significantly improve their vertical jump.

Are there any specific workouts to enhance vertical jumps? 

Yes, exercises like squats, plyometrics, and calf raises can help enhance leg strength and jump height.

Is the vertical jump important in sports other than basketball? 

Absolutely, the vertical jump is crucial in sports like volleyball, where reaching higher can give a competitive edge.

How often should one train to improve their vertical jump? 

Training frequency depends on various factors, but a balanced routine with adequate rest is essential for progress.


The record for the highest vertical jump is a testament to human determination, grit, and the pursuit of excellence. Athletes like Kadour Ziani, Evan Ungar, and ultimately, Sheldon Reader, have redefined what’s possible through their awe-inspiring achievements.

The vertical jump record continues to inspire generations of athletes to strive for greatness, push their limits, and aim for the stars.

Also, read How Long is a Basketball Game?


David Harris is a former player and after many years of writing and testing hundreds of products associated with the game, created this website to share his tips, basketballs and gear.  I look forward to continuing to grow and build this site and sharing great content.


  1. D Alexander

    Why isn’t Bill “Poodle” Willoughby’s 47″ vertical listed here? Shame… or mention of how he blocked KAj’S hook?

  2. Surprised you didn’t at least mention Kenny Gregory since he is one of the few people with an officially recorded vertical jump during the combine. At 45.5″ he seems like a worthy inclusion.