On Monday, Quinnipiac forward (and 2009-10 NEC Player of the Year) Justin Rutty gave his teammates and coaches a blast from the past. That's because he did this in practice -- dunking so hard he hollowed out a huge chunk of his team's practice facility backboard glass. The remaining glass looks like it was crushed by something from Jurassic Park.
Rutty told the Dagger that he had to walk off the court with his eyes closed ... because, you know, he was covered in glass. Once he got cleaned up, though, he was able to appreciate the situation. Quinnipiac even gave him the rim as a dorm-room keepsake.
So why is Rutty such a throwback? Because shattered-backboard dunks just don't happen anymore. Anyone who remembers the early 1990s can remember a better, simpler time, a time when Shaquille O'Neal seemed to break a backboard at least once a game. (It probably didn't help that he noticeably yanked the rim outward from the glass while he dunked; dude was definitely trying to break those things.) Then safety concerns took over: Glass was falling on the court (and on players) too frequently for anyone's taste, so basketball arenas installed redesigned hoops that allowed the rim to break away from the backboard. Whoever designed this is a genius, because it worked. And, um, thanks, genius guy. No one breaks rims anymore. Hooray.
That is, unless those rims are old. Last year, Oklahoma forward Keith "Tiny" Gallon shattered a rim at a Spokane, Wash., tournament. It was later discovered that the rim was outdated -- one of the old, easier-to-break types. It's hard to tell from a Twitter photo, but Rutty's Quinnipiac rim looks a little vintage; it's entirely possible Rutty weeded out yet another of the old-school rim types right in his own practice facility.
If not, he was able to do what very few hoopsters have done since the mid-90s: shatter the backboard glass. Either way, it's pretty impressive.