Usain Bolt and Basketball 3/4 Court Sprint Times

With the NBA playoffs in full swing, you have to wonder if 6’ 5” Usain Bolt played in the NBA, how good would he be? Remember the hype after Beijing when he attended a Boston Celtics game?

How fast can Usain Bolt run the 3/4 court sprint time?

A Basketball court is 94 feet long.  But a 3/4 court would be 70.5′, and the test is standardized at 75 feet or 22.68 meters.  The 3/4 court sprint test is the distance from the end line to the opponents free throw line in College basketball.

94 feet court minus 15 feet from free throw line to backboard minus 4 feet overhang = 75 feet.

The 3/4 Basketball Court Sprint is one of many test at the NBA combine.  Like the NFL Combine, the vertical jump for explosive power is one of the tests.  Other tests include: Kneeling Power Ball Throw, Lane Agility Drill, Multi-Stage Hurdle and the Max Touch test.

3-4 Basketball Court Sprint

Like the 40 yard dash, several factors affect the times.  Notably, standardized time protocols, reaction time, and the surface conditions.

Track is run with starting blocks, accounts for reaction time, uses spikes on synthetic tracks, and has electronic timing.

Basketball 3/4 Court Sprint times are run on a wooden lacquered basketball court and basketball shoes, and timing starts on first movement.  Timing system varies by hand or use of non-standard electronic timing systems.

Fastest 3/4 Court Sprint Times?

 

  1. The fastest recorded 3/4 court sprint time was Nate Robinson (Boston Celtics) with 2.96 seconds.   He also boasted a 43.5" vertical leap.  Then again, when you are only 5 feet 9 inches (1.75 m) tall, you better be fast and jump high!
  2. The 2009 NBA Combine Class had Toney Douglas with a 3.03, and Patrick Mills and Jodie Meeks posted 3.10 or faster.
  3. The 2010 NBA Combine Class had Trevor Booker (Clemson) as the fastest in the group of 53 in 3.10 seconds.  Other notable favorites include John Wall (Kentucky) and  Wesley Johnson (Syracuse) both posting a time of  3.14.  Evan Turner (Ohio State) ran a 3.27.

The 2010 NBA Draft takes place on June 24 at Madison Square Garden, New York.  Only 2 rounds will be held, unlike baseball and football, so the competition is very cut throat!   Get Drafted, or stay home (sounds like the Vietnam War?)

What could Usain Bolt run a Basketball 3/4 Court Sprint Time?

Now, this type of extrapolation is like comparing an Apple iPad to housing prices in Orange County.

But it would be fun to see IF we…

  1. subtracted the reaction time
  2. added the 0-20 meter segment split times
  3. extrapolated 2.68 meters from the 3rd 10 meter segment

Hypothetical 3-quarter Court Sprint Times

With no surprise, Usain Bolt comes out as the winner in 2.95 seconds with other notables under 3.00 seconds. He would still beat Nate Robinson (sorry Boston Fans!).

So there you have it.  Anything under 3.00 seconds for 75 feet, or 22.68 meters with no reaction time is considered exceptional or world class.

Here are the complete results of the 2010 NBA Combine Class.  Any surprises?

Athlete School 3/4 Court Athlete School 3/4 Court
Trevor Booker Clemson 3.10 Cole Aldrich Kansas 3.35
Avery Bradley Texas 3.14 Greg Monroe Georgetown 3.35
Wesley Johnson Syracuse 3.14 Sylven Landesberg Virginia 3.36
John Wall Kentucky 3.14 Jordan Crawford Xavier 3.37
Terrico White Mississippi 3.15 Jarvis Varnado Mississippi State 3.37
Mikhail Torrance Alabama 3.17 Lance Stephenson Cincinnati 3.38
Xavier Henry Kansas 3.18 Craig Brackins Iowa State 3.39
James Anderson Oklahoma State 3.19 Daniel Orton Kentucky 3.39
Armon Johnson Nevada 3.19 Luke Babbitt Nevada 3.40
Damion James Texas 3.20 Luke Harangody Notre Dame 3.41
Ed Davis North Carolina 3.21 Devin Ebanks West Virginia 3.44
Gordon Hayward Butler 3.22 Andy Rautins Syracuse 3.49
Charles Garcia Seattle 3.23 Willie Warren Oklahoma 3.50
Stanley Robinson Connecticut 3.23 Hassan Whiteside Marshall 3.54
Sherron Collins Kansas 3.24 DeMarcus Cousins Kentucky 3.55
Gani Lawal Georgia Tech 3.24 Derrick Caracter Texas El Paso 3.61
Derrick Favors Georgia Tech 3.25 Solomon Alabi Florida State 3.68
Darington Hobson New Mexico 3.25 Tiny Gallon Oklahoma 3.70
Patrick Patterson Kentucky 3.25 Eric Bledsoe Kentucky NA
Larry Sanders Virginia Commonwealth 3.27 Paul George Fresno State NA
Evan Turner Ohio State 3.27 Manny Harris Michigan NA
Ekpe Udoh Baylor 3.29 Jerome Jordan Tulsa NA
Al-Farouq Aminu Wake Forest 3.30 Dexter Pittman Texas NA
Lazar Hayward Marquette 3.31 Quincy Pondexter Washington NA
Dominique Jones South Florida 3.31 Jon Scheyer Duke NA
Artsiom Parakhouski Radford 3.33 Greivis Vasquez Maryland NA
      Elliot Williams Memphis NA

Comments

    • Jimson Lee says

      @Dylan – You are absolutely right. I need glasses at my old age. Thanks for paying attention.

  1. Andy Cano says

    Now, we are really entering the “Theater of the Absurd.” It seems that would-be NBA basketball players are now challenging elite sprinters in acceleration. I can understand how some NFL hotshots would like to fantasize that they possess world-class speed (though, their timed dashes are dubious). But, we are truly stretching the limits of human rationality to infer that NBA players can sprint with the likes of Usain Bolt. Bolt is the fastest human that has ever lived. He has altered our perception of human physiology and its potential. He makes fellow world-class spinters seem slow and lethargic.

    To give substance to these claims of NBA players is a farce. I have watched countless NBA contests. Nary a once did I view a competitor who possessed world-class speed. I would go out on a limb and lay a wager that the fastest NBA player could not break 10.0 seconds flat in the 100 yard dash on his best day. I will go one better. I would wager that the fastest NBA player would be hard-pressed to defeat me in a 25 yard dash, (I’m 45 going on 46).

  2. ben says

    You would have to factor in the reaction time of the person timing the NBA players. Since the draft uses time starting on the player’s movement it takes a moment for the official to start the stopwatch. Factor that in and Nate Robinson’s time becomes slightly less absurd. Keep in mind, these are basketball players on a wooden, somewhat slippery basketball court, wearing basketball shoes, as opposed to spikes on a track specifically designed for speed. Any time even remotely close to a split by an elite sprinter should be considered fraudulent.

  3. Frank says

    In my opinion is very hard compare times in tracks with times training in basketball.
    In basketball the times are taked badly with a watch and without time reaction and sure they have only shoes of basketball in a surface like wood.
    In track the runner has reaction time and a ideal track for run.
    Although i think that an elite runner(bolt,gay,asafa) would win in a race of 22.68m to best runner in the nba hehe.(Is normal the athlete only train for to be VERY FAST)

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