How a 5'5" Basketball Player Trained Himself to Dunk

Brandon Todd is one of the shortest men in the world capable of dunking a basketball.

At 5’5”, Brandon Todd had a seemingly impossible goal: to be able to dunk a basketball.

“I didn’t have any role models my height, and that was the hardest thing for me. I didn’t see anybody like me that could do it,” says Todd in the short documentary FIVE/FIVE. Spud Webb was 5’7” when he won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in 1986, and there are currently only two players in the NBA 5’9” or under. 

Inspired by Russian powerlifters, Todd trained himself to dunk the ball through rigorous strength training, as well as running and jumping exercises. Over three years, Todd gained 85 pounds of muscle before he was finally able to dunk the ball. “I was willing to put myself through all this pain and anguish for that one moment to say: ‘I can do it.’”

FIVE/FIVE is a film by Chris Jurchak and 522 Productions. The filmmaking team was inspired by Brandon’s perseverance and decided to make the project with out-of-pocket expenses. They are currently working on a short documentary, Hellbent, the story of two DC brewers and their struggle to open a brewery in the nation’s capital.

To see more work from 522 Productions, visit their website: http://www.522productions.com

Sam Price-Waldman is a senior associate video producer at The Atlantic. More

Price-Waldman's documentaries have been featured by Vimeo Staff Picks, on PBS, and at film festivals including AFI SilverDocs and Full Frame.

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