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Mizzou's Greatest, #94: Rickey Paulding dunks over K-State

Basketball is often about pure, unadulterated, freakish athleticism. That is and will always be what made Rickey Paulding so memorable and endearing.

Tom Hauck / Getty Images

I remember watching Rickey Paulding glide down the court and just effortlessly dunk from about any angle he chose. Dude could stutter step, explode upwards and tomahawk it down with force like he did against UCLA. Or maybe he would lay it down from just inside the free throw line on a break away. He had what I believe the kids these days call UPS. He was never all that talkative or boisterous on the court; he just went about his business of quietly demoralizing the other team with grit and house shaking slams.

The one play that will always stick out for Mr. Paulding however is that time he just jumped clean over a KSU defender and nearly brought down Bramlage Coliseum with him.

Just watch and soak it in:

Now watch it again.

A nice little 4-on-1 break the Tigers have there. Looks like he has a guy open on the opposite wing, as well as two trailers in case the defender shades too much to his own lane. Well, the defender does just that, but Rickey isn't concerned about that sort of thing. Paulding is having none of this. He takes the ball from left to right, goes up, over and supplants his junk squarely in mister #22's face. I apologize to all the Wildcats out there. They are generally good people, but this is just simply one of the best things to have ever happened in Manhattan, Kansas.

Watching again in slow-mo, Paulding takes one step from the 3-point line, hits the outside of the paint and grazes his taint across a Wildcat as he does an almost perfect Air Jordan impression. My favorite part of all may be how non nonchalant he is about the whole thing afterwards. This dunk was made to be gif'd before such technology even existed. Posterizing was still a thing and he did so with about as much fanfare afterwards as I'll perform for each beer I down.

And just for fun, here's one from the 2002 win over Ohio State.

I was lucky enough to meet Rickey on two separate occasions. We are almost the exact same age. He may have been one of the most humble and kind young men I have ever met. He is still putting it down over in Europe, and as you can see here, dude still has the UP'S those danged kids keep talking about.