The world’s best basketballers have little hope of catching him in a race up the court and now Jamaican Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt is getting to ready to show them he can jump as well when he appears at the NBA’s All-Star weekend in Houston.
Bolt was invited to play in the Celebrity Game, featuring a mixture of well-known people from all walks of life, including some former NBA players at the showcase weekend from Feb 15-17.
“I’m very excited, you know,” Bolt said after opening his track and field season with a low-key race in his hometown of Kingston on Saturday.
“It’s something big and something good for me, so I’m just going to go out there to try and enjoy myself, try to dunk a few times. “(I’m) not a good shooter, but hey.”
Bolt, who won three gold medals at each of the last two Olympics and holds the world record for 100 and 200 metres, has all the physical attributes of an athlete who could make it in several sports and his appearance in Houston is sure to attract plenty of interest.
Not only does he run a like a thoroughbred, he says his 6ft 5in (1.95 metre) frame allows him to leap high enough to reach the basketball hoop.
“I can’t say I’m any good right now because I stopped playing basketball and started to play football (soccer) so I’m really rusty,” he said.
“But one thing, I’m sure I can dunk.”
Asked if he was worried about getting injured during the game, he laughed off the notion, saying he was only playing for fun. “It won’t be anything aggressive,” he said.
“It’s just all guys who know nothing (about basketball) or just play ball with their friends, so it should be easy and just fun.”
Meanwhile, Bolt won his 400-metre heat while Yohan Blake was beaten by Warren Weir as the athletes opened their 2013 season. Weir emerged with the meet’s overall 400M title with a time of 46.23 seconds.
Blake clocked 46.77 in the same heat.
In an earlier heat, Bolt won in 46.74. The places were decided by heat times because there was no final for the event and as such, Bolt was placed third.