The average vertical jump for National Basketball Association players is 28 inches or 71 centimeters. A vertical jump measures a player's leap straight up from a standing position.
The vertical jump is a test of a player's leg strength and ability when playing, as a strong vertical jump will usually be an even bigger running jump during game play. It is one of the measures used by the NBA during drafts to evaluate players, and as such, it is measured both without additional steps taken and as a maximum number. The test is typically performed with the player jumping alongside a wall or other vertical structure which can measure the jump. Most of the time, the player's arms aid in the jump by using counter-movement techniques to add lift.
In practice, many NBA players routinely exhibit vertical jump abilities that far exceed the league's average. The top draft picks routinely display vertical jumps in excess of 30 inches. The top two record holders in the NBA are Michael Jordan and Darrell Griffith, each with a vertical jump of 48 inches or 122 centimeters.
Vertical jump is only one measure of a basketball player's abilities, and while many marquee players like Michael Jordan have ranked among the best in that respect, others were like Larry Bird, whose 28 inch vertical jump places him in the average category for the league.