Guy Oliver: Reaching New Heights
Darting in from the right side of the lane, Guy Oliver slams the ball on the floor begins to angle his body towards the rim. Right stride, left stride, plant, lift off! Oliver launches his 5’10” frame into the air, catching the ball at its apex and rearing it back before he slams it through the hoop. Yet it isn’t his mere ability to dunk a basketball that sets Guy Oliver apart. As he continues to climb into the air, Oliver kicks his legs back and forth, seemingly refusing to ever come down. For a moment, gravity appears non-existent, and Oliver’s head nearly hits the rim before he finally decides to dunk the ball home.
Naturally, at 5’10” with almost a 50” vertical, Oliver has athletic gifts that most people can only dream of. But as Oliver is quick to point out, he didn’t just roll out of bed one day with a 40” vertical. Guy Oliver had to learn how to fly.
From a young age, Oliver was hell-bent on becoming a professional athlete. Afterall, he grew up watching NBA stars like Vince Carter and Kobe Bryant electrify arenas with their high-flying dunks and unique showmanship. But rather than becoming enamored with the on-court athletic prowess of these athletes, it was the impact that these athletes could have off of the court that captivated Oliver. He watched stars like Allen Iverson reshape American culture by introducing traditionally marginalized styles like braids and tattoos to the mainstream media. To a young American minority, there was nothing more powerful than seeing someone have such influence on society’s culture. Pursuing a career in anything but professional athletics was sacrilegious.
But not everyone in Oliver’s life backed that notion. In fact, his only real support came from his mother, who he unfortunately lost to cancer in the 6th grade. Everyone else in Oliver’s life; friends, teachers, etc., insisted that his athletic aspirations were mere pipe dreams. He yearned for guidance and inspiration, but all he got was doubt and disbelief. His path to athletic seemed to be shrinking by the day.
Guy Oliver Jumping through the air showing off on of his signature Dunks Photo Credit: Chris Costello
But Oliver had made a promise to his mother upon her death that he would fulfill his dreams. He taught himself how to work-out, what to eat, and worked hard at his craft day in and day out. He would go on to star in three sports during high school and is currently a world-renowned professional basketball player known for his elite bounce and athleticism. Yet if you ask Oliver today, he’ll tell you that he never reached his full potential as a basketball player. Aside from his unique leaping ability, Oliver also has a well-rounded basketball skillset, one that he feels could have allowed him to play at an NBA level had he had proper guidance and strong role models growing up.
"As an athlete I want to inspire everyone, we need to come together and support each other not just through sports but in life"
That is where Oliver’s mission lies today. He is determined to give young athletes the blueprint to one day make their dreams a reality. Obviously, as Oliver frequently points out, becoming a professional athlete is a long journey fraught with hard work and frequent challenges, but he refuses to underestimate the impact that a few tips and pointers can have along the way. You never know, Oliver’s guidance could help inspire the NBA’s next superstar.
Posted By: Oliver Weiner 11/11/2020