When NC State assistant Tom Abatemarco (aka the Alphabet Man) discovered Spud Webb at Midland Junior College and flew him in to RDU, Valvano took one look at the 5-6 guard and told Abatemarco “you're fired.”
He was joking of course. Valvano trusted Abatemarco’s bird dog instincts, and of course, Abatemarco was right: Webb turned out to be a wonderful player.
His biggest attribute was his jumping: Webb had a 46” vertical and later won the NBA dunk contest.
But there are plenty of guys with similar verticals who never made the NBA. Webb did, despite being just 5-6, and he had a 12-year career, which is not something he did just because he could jump.
Webb was tiny but extremely quick. He also was extremely smart. He passed beautifully and he could cut through a defense like a hot knife through butter.
Here are some of his highlights. A lot of them are from his time at NC State while others are from the NBA.
Now 60, Webb is the president of basketball operations for the NBA’s G-League.