When it comes to foul line dunks, the first name that comes to mind is Michael Jordan. That Michael Jordan, widely and almost unanimously regarded as the best basketball player in history.

Now when it comes to foul line dunks, though, it’s time to add another name to that list: Pat Dickert of Colby College.

Yes, that Colby College.

Dickert, of Hatfield, Massachusetts, posted a video of him making a foul line dunk to his Instagram account as part of his “Take Flight Tuesday” series last week. Dickert, a 21-year-old junior guard on the Colby men’s basketball team, said he performed the dunk last week at Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts.

“I went there with the intent to make the dunk,” he said. “I’ve been practicing it for a long time and I didn’t want to be the known as the ‘missed dunk guy.'”

By Tuesday afternoon, the video had been viewed more than 233,000 times on Instagram and another 33,000 times on YouTube.

“It’s something I couldn’t possibly have expected,” Dickert said. “It’s blown up on so many different platforms. It’s even popular on Reddit, and I’ve posted a bunch of stuff on Reddit before and it really went nowhere.

“I figured it would die down after last week, but it hasn’t.”

The 6-foot-2 guard said he’d never completed a dunk from the foul line before hitting the one featured in the video, which the school confirmed was completed on a regulation-sized basketball hoop. For authenticity, Dickert opens the video by standing directly under the rim with his left arm reaching toward it.

“I get asked if I lowered the hoop but I didn’t,” he said. “I don’t even know how to lower a hoop.”

Dickert appeared in all 25 games for Colby last season, averaging six points and just over 19 minutes a game. He was named to the New England Small Athletic Conference Winter All-Academic Team.

Colby head coach Damien Strahorn said Dickert was a “significant contributor” off the bench who will have a chance to start this season.

Strahorn said he was in awe when Dickert showed him the video.

“The fact that he is able to physically take off take off from 15 feet away and stay in the air long enough to dunk it, it’s a very impressive feat. It’s pretty crazy,” said Strahorn, noting that Dickert is “no taller” than the 6-foot-2 he’s listed at.

“To think about the athletes you see do it in NBA dunk contest, for him to do it at his size is remarkable.”

Dickert said the “Take Flight Tuesday” idea was a product of the “hobby” of dunking basketballs during breaks in training sessions.

Three weeks ago, he posted a video of him missing a foul line dunk. That, he said, provided all the motivation he needed this time around.

“I’ve been trying the dunk for a while,” Dickert said. “I was especially motivated because I’d missed it. So, I came back at it with a vengeance.”

In other videos, including compilations of several dunks, Dickert can be seen leaping over the head of a 7-foot teammate and dunking from just inside the foul line.

“It’s something I enjoy doing,” Dickert said. “I was always told, ‘If you want to be a Division I player, you have to be more athletic.’ I couldn’t really jump that well when I was younger.”

A number of national media outlets have reached out to Dickert to talk about the feat, but there’s one person he hopes will see the video: Julius Erving, the originator of the foul line dunk.

“I was at a dinner where he was the featured speaker when I was 11,” Dickert recalled. “I got to meet him, and I told him that I wanted to grow up to be just like him. It’s find of funny to think about that now.”

To have his name mentioned in the same breath as Jordan and Dr. J, though, takes some getting used to.

“It really is surreal to hear that,” Dickert said.

As for what’s next on “Take Flight Tuesday,” the economics major takes a pragmatic approach.

“Now I have to go work on my jump shot,” he said. “That’s what’s most important.”

Sports editor Bill Stewart contributed to this report.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621
[email protected]
Twitter: @TBarrettGWC


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