October 04, 2010
Add Quinnipiac's Justin Rutty to the exclusive list of dunkers powerful enough to shatter a backboard.
Frustrated after missing a handful of jump hooks and free throws during individual workouts on Saturday afternoon, Rutty took out his frustration in the next drill with a power move and a ferocious two-handed slam. The 6-foot-7, 240-pound forward's dunk was so powerful that the rim snapped in his hands and backboard shards fell to the gym floor all around him.
"When I dunked, I didn't know what had happened until some of my teammates were like, 'Oh my God,'" Rutty recalled on Monday. "I turned to look around and the glass fell all over my head. Everyone told me to keep my eyes closed because there was glass all over my face. I walked off the court and then after I got cleaned up, I enjoyed it a little bit more."
Rutty's backboard-shattering slam was an ideal example of the explosiveness and strength that transformed him into the Northeastern Conference's most feared player a year ago. He tallied 15.3 points and 10.9 rebounds per game as a junior last season, earning conference Player of the Year honors and becoming one of just 20 players in the nation to average a double-double.
Although Rutty sustained a small cut on his face as a result of the glass, the little nick was well worth the memory of tearing down a rim for the first time. The coaching staff even let Rutty take the rim back to his dorm room as a unique memento from a memorable practice dunk.
"I still can't believe I actually did that," Rutty said. "The only thing that would have made it better is if it happened in a game. If it had been a game, I think people would have flooded the court."