In fact, dunking — the most efficient, and arguably most exciting shot in basketball — is about 56 years older than Zion himself. In 1944, university basketball saw its first-ever dunk, when Oklahoma A&M"s Bob "Foothills" Kurland dunked by accident. Yes, you check out that correctly.

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Kurland, among the first 7-foot centers, is attributed with the very first dunk in college basketball history when his Oklahoma A&M Aggies, i beg your pardon has due to the fact that been change the name to Oklahoma State, play Temple.

“The ball taken place to it is in under the basket. I obtained it up and also stuffed it in. That began it, ns guess,” the late Kurland called the Orlando Sentinel in 2012. "It to be an unintended accident. The wasn"t planned, simply a spontaneous play in Philadelphia.

Temple won the game 46-44 — among Oklahoma A&M"s 4 losses through a an unified 10 points that season — however Kurland had made history.

Kurland later noted that the ceremony and style approximately dunks have actually come a long method since he an initial "stuffed it in," to express the 2011 NBA dunk contest when former Oklahoma star Blake Griffin dunked end a car.

"It evolved, just evolved over time through these guys today. Ago then i wasn"t trying come jump end an automobile. That wasn"t mine bag."

There is no footage accessible of Kurland"s very first dunk, but watching the highlight clip below can provide you a pretty great idea of how leading of a player that was.

While maybe not a family name exterior of Oklahoma State circles, Kurland was one of college basketball"s very first stars, in enhancement to being the originator the the dunk at the university level. He to be a three-time first Team All-American that was called the Tournament"s many Outstanding Player twice during Oklahoma A&M"s back-to-back national championships in 1945-46. The Aggies walk 99-22 in his four-year career.

Kurland score a team-high 22 clues in Oklahoma A&M"s 49-45 win against NYU in the 1945 nationwide championship game. He helped hold adversaries to 33.5 points every game.


Bob Kurland (back row, fourth from left) was called the 1945 Tournament many Outstanding Player.

An amazing side keep in mind is that Kurland"s imposing size and also skill in ~ the rim aided prompt the to also include a dominance against goaltending. From Oklahoma State"s media guide: "It is probable that Kurland had more to carry out with the rule against goaltending than any kind of player due to the fact that he was the cook target of the rule." He once blocked 17 shots, consisting of 10 in the first half, versus Oklahoma when goaltending to be still legal.

That stat heat is storage of Patrick Ewing"s performance against North Carolina in the 1982 championship, whereby Ewing to be repeatedly dubbed for goaltending in the opened minutes the the video game in an initiative to intimidate the Tar Heels.

How countless players have had a bigger influence on the strategy and also rules that basketball 보다 Kurland, who both presented college basketball come the dunk (which was later banned temporarily) and also was so good defensively that goaltending to be outlawed?

In 1946, the Sporting News nationwide Player that the Year score a game-high 23 points in the team"s 43-40 victory over north Carolina in the national title game. His 19.5 points per game was the nation"s highest possible scoring average and also his 58 points versus St. Luigi in February 1946 is the school"s single-game record by 13 points. (For perspective, Oklahoma A&M didn"t score at least 58 points on 26 occasions that season.)

The very first player to success to Olympic yellow Medals because that basketball, Kurland was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball hall of Fame.

But Kurland wasn"t the only dunking pioneer in college basketball.

On Dec. 21, 1984, West Virginia"s women"s basketball team was dealing with off versus the college of Charleston, once Georgeann Wells captured a happen at midcourt through no defenders in prior of her, and also dunked. It was the first dunk through a player in department I women"s basketball.

Wells would certainly go on to score 1,484 points, take 1,075 rebounds and block 436 shots in she time in ~ West Virginia, however no moment would live up to the dunk. And also if you require any much more proof as to how impressive of a feat that was, no various other player would certainly dunk in women"s college basketball for an additional 10 years.

Sources: Oklahoma State 2017-18 Media Guide, Orlando Sentinel, West Virginia Athletics

Andy Wittry has actually written for Stadium,, Sporting News, the Indianapolis Star, Louisville Courier-Journal and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. That is a graduate of Indiana University. You have the right to follow that on Twitter

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