Elbert County basketball player becomes instant legend with backboard-shattering dunk

Elbert County’s Rod Rucker is an instant school legend.
The high school basketball shattered the backboard with a two-handed dunk in the first round of the region tournament.
”I was scared a little bit,” Rucker told WSGC Radio. “But hey, I took it like a man.”
Play was stopped for an hour, according to the radio station, and the game resumed at another venue — Elbert County Middle School.

Elbert County’s Rod Rucker is an instant schoolboy legend.

The high school basketball player shattered the backboard with a two-handed dunk in the first round of the region tournament.

”I was scared a little bit,” Rucker told WSGC Radio. “But hey, I took it like a man.”

Play was stopped for an hour, according to the radio station, and the game resumed at another venue — Elbert County Middle School. Rucker is a 6-foot-4 wingman for the team.

98 comments Add your comment


February 20th, 2010
7:56 am

I have attended hundreds of high school games but I have never seen a backboard shattered by a high school player. Rod is not only a powerful dunker, but is one of the most consistent high school players I have ever watched. On a “typical” night, he will score 25+ points and pull down 20 boards. He plays as hard the last minute of the game as the 1st. I will miss this kid next year!!


February 20th, 2010
9:26 am

Awesome…everyone could feel the excitement.


February 20th, 2010
9:57 am

No big deal…Glass brakes sometimes, just happen at this time.

Nilo Silvan

February 20th, 2010
10:03 am

Vic Beasley of Adairsville last year broke his gym’s backboard twice in one week during practices. Here is a clip of the first one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWf0_R5V-vQ


February 20th, 2010
10:07 am

Watching someone break a backboard without setting out to do so is VERY impressive. For those of you who do not know it is not that hard to break the backboard at most high school gyms if you know what you are doing. This kid was not trying toshatter the backboard and it broke just the same. BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE.

Pete Newell

February 20th, 2010
10:48 am

I have been reading about basketball for 57 years and never heard anyone describe a position as “wingman.” Does he fly, or something?

[...] Elbert County basketball player becomes instant legend with … [...]


February 20th, 2010
11:16 am

Pete Newell, maybe you meant you have been watching basketball for 57 years with the sound off, no way you have not heard that term. Maybe because Pete Newell played down low the term never mattered to you. Good dunk kid!


February 20th, 2010
11:48 am

is that chamblee miller grove game tonight or monday night?


February 20th, 2010
11:56 am

Is this young man a senior? If not, then he needs to make his way over to Holt Road! Jelan’s headed off to Memphis you know.


February 20th, 2010
12:46 pm

Instant Legend……for breaking backboard? What a da@# joke! Now every kid will be trying to do the same.

bank walker

February 20th, 2010
2:26 pm

Give the young man some credit! He’s a great player and he averages 15 points in the AAU circuit!


February 20th, 2010
3:55 pm

It’s great to be able to do that, but it would be even greater if his grades were as good as his basketball skills. To me, academic achievement is far more impressive.

Charles Allen Sr.

February 20th, 2010
4:17 pm

I have been tracking Rod Rucker for over three years now and I say great talent for such a young man. He has a bright future in the game of basketball, whether that be college or hopefully the pros a few years from now. For all you haters out there, if you have nothing positive or encouraging to say about this young man and his gift to basketball, please KEEP QUIET! That special moment in his young life was a very exciting moment not only for him, but for the fans, his high school, the city of Elberton and most of all, the game of basketball.
From his great uncle born in Elberton who now lives in San Antonio, TX

Todd - Dacula

February 20th, 2010
4:34 pm

Pete Newell, I am 49 and finished high scool in 1978. I played the wing too… typicall the 3 position…

Dawg '85

February 20th, 2010
4:44 pm

Wing and swingman are both common terms, particularly in HS offenses against the zone.

King James

February 20th, 2010
5:17 pm

James worthy was a helluva “wing” – not a new term.

Crazy Hoops

February 20th, 2010
7:02 pm

Before I clicked on the clip, I was thinking it must be one of those oldtime gyms and backboards. The video confirmed that this backboard has probably been up since the gym was built.


February 20th, 2010
7:10 pm

The backboard was probably 40 years old….Have you ever been to Elberton?

BBall vet

February 20th, 2010
8:37 pm

I graduated from HS in 1969, and played the “wing”


February 20th, 2010
8:42 pm

Hey Charles Allen Sr….this is a blog….we can say whatever we want.


February 20th, 2010
9:20 pm

Charles Allen ? Bite me>>>>>>


February 20th, 2010
10:00 pm

I don’t think that Mr Allen’s comments were intended to silence anyone’s right to free speech! YES, it is a blog…And he can say whatever he wants too. He just did it in a very positive way, as did many others.


February 20th, 2010
11:27 pm

Pete did you mean the past 57 years or the first 57 of its invention. the term wing-man has been around for a while now well i usually don’t hear wing-man either people usually just say the wing position or wing player and MACK i totally agree with you statement. i can’t believe there are actually some jealous people on here. There is no reason for any negative comment just because the AJC wrote a short blog a high school player broke the back board.


February 21st, 2010
1:37 am

talented young man

Michael Carvell

February 21st, 2010
3:06 am

If anyone knows how to get in contact with Rod or his coach, please shoot me their cell at mcarvell@ajc.com

Me too...

February 21st, 2010
3:44 am

Pete, You definitley haven’t covered basketball long at all. wing is definitely the SG or SF. very very common on every level of basketball…

Eagle 1

February 21st, 2010
3:50 am

Hey Micheal and Todd go back a ways and check me out!!!! Ive been saying that Rod Rucker is my guy in AAA. Ive been tracking him a while. Columbia played them(ELBERT CO.) in the Elite8 last year. Im not surprised at Rod Rucker and Nick (South Atlanta) or Dem Liberty Boys(Rion & Jordan) thats what u get in AAA!!!!!!

Eagle 1

February 21st, 2010
3:54 am

Please bloggers dont det it twisted Rod Rucker is the truth!!!
Im for Columbia Eagles all day…this young man is truly gifted!!


February 21st, 2010
5:49 am

mcdonald’s all american nominee, reigion 8A AAA player of the year, his team wins the reigion championship,
and he breaks the board and you say he just a normal high school basketball player come on give the kid some credit he is probly one of the most underrated players in high school hoops if this aint a player you want on your team the you must not be a very good fan or coach.

sad brotha

February 21st, 2010
8:24 am

What is his GPA and SAT score? If he lands wrong and gets “kneed up with multiple surgeries” then what? I read about a young man who saved his squad in Afghanistan in heavy combat… now that gets me excited… not a backboard being shattered!

now that's funny

February 21st, 2010
8:39 am

Hey WinderDogg bring your team to Elberton and see for yourself. We beat everybody we play by double digits, and we would be your team by 20. Tell me I’m not telling the truth.


February 21st, 2010
9:25 am

Backboard probably has a manufacture flaw. The kid does not get alot of height or power. He hung on the rim and the mechanism did not break, but I have seen 350 lb guys hang on the rim without the backboard breaking. Just a fluke, not an indication of superior strength or dunking.

Class of '83

February 21st, 2010
10:31 am

True, the Inferno has been there awhile as I played in it during my high school days. It’s gone through some renovations lately. It’s still a great facility for a high school gym and it’s loud. I played and dunked in the place as recently as last year and I can say for certain the backboard and goals are in good shape. As far as Rod, he’s for real. I’m seen him play several times. Breaking that backboard was no fluke. He’s underrated as well as the Elbert team who’s coached by former Bulldog tightend Larry Brown.

fred dre

February 21st, 2010
10:53 am

hey sad brotha,what gets me excited is you talking about what somebody else is doing or not doing,you’re not breaking backboards,and i know you’re not a combat veteran,oh that’s right you read about one.in other words…what in the hell are you doing?

R John

February 21st, 2010
11:11 am

Saw BJ Elder, who went on to play at Tech, do that for Morgan County in a region tournament game at Putnam County High School in … 2000? I think it was 2000. Was definitely a backboard that had been in place for decades. As it turned out, they didn’t have a spare and the game had to be suspended.

I think breaking the backboard is actually a technical foul, isn’t it?

Was always slightly surprised that Elder didn’t make it bigger than he did, but I suppose for an NBA guard he was a bit undersized.


February 21st, 2010
11:48 am

Yeah but it gave a thrill to the Fans watching that will last a lifetime and may make him a more confident player and conversation around a crowd when he gets older..the night the boards crashed down.come on he is a kid!!! let him and others have this glory for a lifetime..never know what direction he will go in and in the possitive way from this

Other Georgia

February 21st, 2010
12:30 pm

Those who undersestimate The Elbert County Blue Devils do so at their own peril. Ask Franklin County’s legendary coach Harry Marsh what it was like to lose the 8AAA championship by forty three points. Forty three points.

Welcome to the IINFERNO! We’ll be there waiting for you.


February 21st, 2010
12:32 pm

What a bunch of Eeyores. Kudos to this kid on his talent and motivation. He sounds like a great kid.

Richard Hyatt

February 21st, 2010
1:39 pm

Michael, Extreme Home Makeover is honoring Coach Jeremy Williams and family. You deserve credit for making this story known and keeping it alive. In 40 years of journalism, I don’t remember a story so deserving of praise.

Coach D

February 21st, 2010
1:54 pm

Is this kid going to play in college anywhere? Anyone know?


February 21st, 2010
4:45 pm

Is this the same Larry Brown who went to Crim high school back in 93-94. I think he got injured while at UGA and never seemed to get back on the field.

Franklin county class of 88

February 21st, 2010
4:54 pm

You may have won by a large margin, but when is the last time before this year that Elbert actually beat Franklin? We have own you for several years and you are intitled to a year of bliss! We have a young team this year but we will be there next year, guaranteed! So to Other Georgia, go ahead and hire him to work in the granite shed that you own in the next couple of years because that is the only good thing that comes out of elberton. I love my countertops!!

Basketball fan

February 21st, 2010
6:25 pm

The goal has held up through 4 seasons of several starters dunking. Rod just played ball. No matter skills, team, or what…it was awesome to experience first hand. He has great skills end of story.

Other Georgia

February 21st, 2010
7:30 pm

Glad you’re happy with the countertops. Yes, we are known for our granite. As opposed to Franklin County, where the best thing that comes out of there is Highway 17 South.


February 21st, 2010
8:22 pm

Who would be “jealous” of a kid that broke a 40 year old backboard? This is not a “negative” comment, it’s just reality.


February 22nd, 2010
12:53 am

this is a great kid and has worked his butt off! for all the haters what are you doing with your life, i enjoy watching him play! i could sit back and watch this kid play all day long. how could anybody hate on a dunk? he is an all around kid! if you dont believe it come see for yourself!! grow up!!! he hit double double every game! what kid u no does that? he even hit a quad, double! do you no what that mean?? have favor or mayfield ever hit that?????????? well favor anyways, he is a great kid 2!! rod was 1st in everything along with his team!!! beat franklin who is very overrated by 43 points!!! if you dont want him on your team then who do u want! even if the backboard was old it was shaddered by him and thanks to all the other dunkers that helped him, but he brought the ri down with him so he gets the reward!!! who can stop rod rucker??????? region champs baby player of the year and nominated for mcdonald all american! now that along is just a blessing! i want to give thanks to the lord above for this special kid!


February 22nd, 2010
2:41 am

He was and will always be a Boys & Girls Club Kid. He participated in all 5 core program areas as a result you can see it in his walk, talk, and game. He loves Jesus and is a great teamate. On the court he’s what I’ll call a gamer. Comes to play every night!! Some know him as Demetrious and others know him as Rod. When you see him on the court you will know him as I know him, “T-Rex”!! Rod Rucker didn’t bring the house down, “T-Rex” did it!! There was a dinosaur in the building and he an’t no joke!!

Other Georgia

February 22nd, 2010
4:36 am

All you armchair chemists and physicists really crease me.

The backboard shattered because Rod Rucker shattered it.

No matter how old it was, It was working just fine until Thursday night.

Dawg Fan

February 22nd, 2010
10:36 am

As a high school official, I’ve seen Rod play on several occassions throughout his entire career in Elbert County, including his middle school years. This kid is special. He’s not blessed with the height but I’ve seen him jump and compete with the best of the best. As for as the back board goes, give the kid some credit HE SHATTERED THE BACKBOARD it doesn’t matter if it was a day old or 40 years old.