43 inches likely doesn't seem like much to you. It's a running stride, the wingspan of a small child, the width of a galley kitchen. Not a lot, right?
Now, go outside and stand a ruler on end. With no steps or momentum, jump over it. Now stack another one on top of that. Jump over it again. Grab your yardstick, stand it on end, then jump over that. If you are like most Americans, you've long since been eliminated at this point. The average man peaks out with a 20" vertical. That, for those of you not great with math, doesn't even clear the second ruler.
Dwan Odom’s vertical is more than twice the height of the high end of the average mortal male. See the car in the article photo? With zero steps, Dwan’s feet are about midway up the driver’s side window. Give him a step and he is likely standing on the roof of a Honda Civic.
College basketball players do things that have sort of become de rigueur to those of us watching. Edmond Sumner pounds a dunk on Octavious Ellis and we marvel mostly because of the context and audacity, forgetting for the moment that Sumner is, simply by having his hand where it is, doing something that defies physics for the vast, vast majority of the world’s inhabitants. Dwan Odom clearing 43 inches from a standstill is not immediately impressive. Upon just a moment of reflection, it is otherworldly.