In addition to being a sprinting legend, Usain Bolt enjoys playing soccer and cricket. How does the Olympic champion feel about basketball, and can he perform one of the most iconic moves in this sport – a slam dunk?
Usain Bolt can dunk. The Jamaican sprinter demonstrated his ability at the 2013 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, where he impressed the audience with a two-handed slam dunk.
Stick around to learn more about Usain Bolt’s basketball skills and his love for other sports.
Usain Bolt’s Basketball Skills
Usain Bolt is a great athlete, but basketball isn’t his forte. After he took part in the 2013 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, Reuters made fun of his basketball skills by writing “Usain Bolt, do not quit your day job.”
Several other publications also agreed that Bolt isn’t a skilled basketball player, but he managed to impress the audience with his ability to dunk. He scored two points for his team after slam dunking a ball through the hoop with both of his hands.
Unfortunately, this was the only impressive shot he scored throughout the entire game. He disappointed his teammates, including Josh Hutcherson, Nick Cannon, and Ne-Yo, after managing to miss several other shots and both of his free throws.
His team was easily crushed, and Bolt later said he was surprised that their opponents took the game so seriously. The Olympic sprinter wasn’t disappointed because he did one thing that he came there to do – have fun.
“I haven’t played basketball in a while but for me, it was something I did when I was a kid. I’m more into football, definitely. I go to Europe a lot, I get a lot more games but I do love basketball a lot,” explained Bolt.
Usain Bolt’s Passion for Sports
Usain Bolt was passionate about sports from an early age, but basketball was never one of his favorites. He spent his childhood years playing soccer and cricket with his brother and even considered pursuing a career in one of these sports.
Bolt was a part of the cricket team at his high school, but his coach felt he showed more promise as a runner. He grew up surrounded by cricket fans, but even his father who adores the sport advised him to focus on running because it’s difficult to get into a national cricket team.
That’s exactly what Bolt did but eventually decided to retire from sprinting in 2017, after winning a total of eight Olympic gold medals in this discipline. Following his retirement, he started thinking about becoming a professional soccer player.
Bolt’s soccer career was short-lived, but he was offered a contract by the Australian club Central Coast Mariners. He took part in an eight-week trial, but failed to secure a deal that worked for both sides, and decided to quit soccer and focus on his business endeavors.
Bolt never pursued a professional career in cricket, but the Australian cricketer Shane Warne suggested he should join the Big Bash League back in 2012. The Jamaican athlete was still focused on sprinting at the time and never fully committed to this idea.
Usain Bolt excelled at many sports from a young age, and he could’ve been pretty much anything. He had fun playing soccer and showed a lot of promise during his cricket training, so why did he decide to focus on running instead.
Bolt’s high school cricket coach noticed his speed and urged him to give track and field events a shot. He followed his advice and decided to fully focus on sprinting after his father told him this sport will allow him to prove his worth on his own.“I chose to be a sprinter, not only because I was the fastest kid in school, but also because I knew that politics couldn’t interfere. In team sports it can be down to opinion whether you are the best… But in athletics, you are either the fastest or you aren’t,” explained Bolt.