Catching up with dunking legend Henry Bekkering

By Chris O’Leary

You probably don’t know Henry Bekkering, but there’s a good chance you’ve seen him before.

When he was 18 and a senior at W.R. Myers high school in Taber, Alberta, Canada (south of Calgary), Bekkering took part in a dunk contest as part of a tournament in Vancouver. He blessed the crowd with a handful of Vince Carter-esque dunks that people still talk about today, thanks to the video footage that came from the tourney. A copy of the video recently got its one-millionth view on Youtube. It also caught the eyes of the people at Best Damn Sports Show Period. Henry explains what happened there in his own words below.

Bekkering made his way to Eastern Washington University in the fall of ’03. Limited minutes and some red-shirt seasons led to his departure from the school after the 2005-06 season, when he transferred to the University of Calgary to play ball closer to home and alongside his younger brother Ross.

After red-shirting last year (transfer rules), Bekkering is averaging 17.8 points and six rebounds per game in his first season playing with the Dinos. At the start of their season this year, Bekkering and a few of his teammates put together a new video, where Henry shows off some new dunks. He saves his best for last.

Since he’s an online legend already, I thought it’d be fun to learn more about him via another infamous online resource, the online survey. This one has a basketball slant and avoids the awkward question, “Have you ever loved someone so much it made you cry?”

Name: Henry Bekkering

Height/weight: I’m roughly 6’6, and I weigh around 240lbs. I’m called “fat ass” from time to time by my teammates.

School I’m currently attending: University of Calgary

Schools I’ve attended: Eastern Washington University

The first time I dunked was: The first time I dunked was grade 8. I was at an outdoor court and 3 girls in my school (the hot ones, there’s only 3 hot girls in Taber) walked by. I went up…. and put down the token one foot one hand slam.

My best dunk is: 360 through the legs or jumping over people windmills

My vertical leap is: 107 centimetres….or for the Americans…42 inches

Number of TV personalities I’ve tried to dunk over: 1, Brian Bosworth

Explain what happened: I went up, nailed his face with my knee, and emphatically made the dunk. Then… I ran off set in fear for my life.

At school, I’m majoring in: European History

I’m currently listening to: my brother sing a remix version of Corey Hart, I wear my sunglasses at night

My favorite place to go on vacation: Cancun

My favorite movie is: It probably has the greatest lines of any movie ever made. Even though Mel has a tarnished image… I’m still going to go with Braveheart.

My favorite food is: Sushi

NSYNC or Backstreet? NSYNC. JT’s jerry curl was looking nice back in the day and Lance wore those cute little pants all the time. Kidding…. But I would choose NSYNC.

When I’m done school I will: Play professionally somewhere or train to beat Kobayashi at the 2009 World Hot Dog Eating Championships.

Number of professional football leagues I’ve been drafted into: 1, CFL.

Explain how this happened: They contacted me, asked me if I wanted to try football. I came in for a workout and they liked what they saw. I played in high school and a little in university (he was a kicker for EWU’s football team while he red-shirted for basketball—O’Leary), so everything wasn’t new to me.

My favorite restaurant is: Sushi Tokyo on Centre and 3rd in Calgary.

The last person I called was: T-Fids (Tyler Fiddler). He’s a rookie 6’9 guard for our team this year.

The last TV show I watched was: Raptors vs. Cavs. Lebron had 39, 11, and 8.

The last movie I watched was: The Fountain starring Hugh Jackman.

Football or basketball? Basketball.

If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be? Flying. I don’t have a car, so flying would make my transportation problems go away.

Would you eat a bowl of live crickets for $40,000? Guaranteed. I’d do it for $5000

My favorite basketball moment so far: Winning the JCST/Saunders Insurance 3on3 tournament in Taber with my Dad when he was 50.