Dude dunks on 30th birthday, or did he?

Mon, Nov 23

If you read my piece on Jason King a couple months ago and wondered whether he would complete his task of dunking a basketball by his 30th birthday, wonder no more.

After months of various types of training, recording his efforts and posting them on his Web site -- ifthisguycandunk.com (be sure to check out the "trailer'' previewing Sunday's attempt) -- King awoke on his birthday Sunday morning, went to the gym and celebrated turning 30 years old by … dunking the basketball.

"I was really throwing it down,'' said King, who is 5-foot-9 and played hoops at a small high school. "I felt great. I was almost able to do a reverse. I could almost put it down with two hands. It was too good to be true.''

Alas, it was. King had assumed the hoop was regulation height, but when he found himself dunking with too much ease, he decided to measure the basket. Ah, the folly of youth. The hoop, it turned out, was a mere 9 feet, 10 inches off the court. His dunks did not count. He had missed his goal by 2 inches.

"I wish I hadn't measured it out,'' he said. "I regretted measuring it as soon as I brought out the tape. I wish I had resisted the urge. That was a blow to the ego.''

King, who recently moved from Seattle to Reno, Nev., said he had planned a celebratory lobster dinner Sunday night if he accomplished his goal with a birthday dunk. In a clear sign that while old age has not granted him quite enough vertical leap, it has given him wisdom, he went out for lobster anyway.

More importantly, he now realizes that life doesn't end at 30. Just because he didn't dunk by his birthday Sunday doesn't mean he has to give up trying. And he's not going to give up. King figures he is within an inch of dunking, and he's confident he'll be able to do so one day.

"The whole thing has been so much fun and given me something to do,'' he said. "It's a little disappointing but I'm absolutely certain I'll get it. Today is just another day. I would like to say I'll have a video of me dunking within a month.''