By Ross Kelly

Quick question: Who is the shortest basketball player you’ve ever seen dunk a 10 foot goal?

Most NBA fans would say Spud Webb who stood 5’7″ and won the 1986 Slam Dunk Contest. Younger fans would probably go with Nate Robinson who stands 5’9″ and is the only three-time winner of the Slam Dunk Contest.

Well, there’s a new entry to the “shortest guy who can dunk” discussion, albeit, he used a little help. Meet Cal Mathison, a high-school student in Nebraska who stands all of 5’5″. What Mathison lacks in height, he makes up for in creativity as evident by his parkour-inspired, behind-the-back dunk:


Is it a legit dunk? No, but that’s besides the point. Mathison cleverly used the elements around him to get up to, and above, the rim. Notice how at his peak his head is above the rim a la Gerald Green. Imagine if the NBA allowed its participants to use certain “enablers” to help them get more hangtime. Then people might actually enjoy watching the dunk contest again.

I don’t know much about Mathison’s skills as an actual basketball player but I’m guessing that this will be the high point of his hoops career. He may not be the next Webb or Robinson and win a dunk contest; but there are other ways that people of his stature have still made it to the NBA.

Ross Kelly is an Associated Producer for CBS Local Sports. He is from Louisiana and is a fan of all sports, but not of any teams (except LSU). He can be reached at