Why the World’s Best Dunker Isn’t in the NBA

Is there anything more thrilling in the sport of basketball than the dunk?

Think about it. It doesn’t matter if the team you’re cheering for is winning or losing, when someone goes flying through the air and slams the ball through the bucket, you can’t help but react. The dunk is electrifying. It’s crowd-pleasing. It makes people get out of their seats and wipe their eyes because they can’t believe what they just witnessed. For the average person, this feat seems inhuman. But for an NBA player, it’s simply another day at the office.

Given that today’s professional basketball players are so strong and athletic, dunking has become somewhat commonplace. Unless the jam comes at the perfect time, “posterizes” an opponent, or changes the momentum of the game, it doesn’t have the same effect that it once did. This could also be a major reason why people weren’t expecting much from this year’s Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. That was, until the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Zach LaVine showed us that we still had much to learn about the art of dunking.

This rookie brought flair back into the contest. He was inventive and fearless, and had even the best dunkers of all time at a loss for words. Finally some excitement was injected into an event that had become stale over the past few years. But what if the contest was still missing something? What if there was another individual out there who could’ve taken the spectacle up a notch? Is that even possible?

Yes, it is. That person exists. His name is Jordan Kilganon, and his dunks are otherworldly. But you’d never know it because this guy doesn’t play in the NBA.

If you’re looking to grab people’s attention, try nailing a 75-inch box jump. That’s exactly what Kilganon did. And it’s jaw-dropping. Seriously, who is this guy? We had to find out — that’s how impressed we were.

It turns out that Kilganon is a professional dunker who stands just 6-foot-1. Still, that doesn’t prevent him from having a bounce that’s absolutely off the charts. He flies with such force, style, and creativity that even college program St. Mary’s invited him to show off his skills at its Midnight Madness in 2013. Talk about crazy leaping ability.

It also appears that this kid is consistently coming up with new tricks, never getting complacent with his talent. For those who believe that, when it comes to dunking, they’ve seen it all, we’ve got news for you: Unless you’ve seen watched this guy’s stuff, you haven’t. Not by a long shot.

There’s no way to diminish what LaVine did in the 2015 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. After years of lackluster performances, he reinvigorated an event that appeared to be on its last legs. We have no problem calling him the best dunker in the National Basketball Association. But that doesn’t mean he’s the best dunker out there.

After seeing what Kilganon can do, we’re convinced that the best is yet to come. The NBA may be the best basketball league on the planet, but it’s not home to the world’s best high-flier.

Kilganon is on a mission, and we choose to accept it.