from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Basketball A play in which a pass is lobbed above the basket and a player jumps up and attempts to catch the ball and score before returning to the floor.
  • n. Basketball The pass made in such a play.
  • interj. Used to signal the start of a strenuous activity, such as lifting.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

French allez-oop, cry of circus acrobat about to leap, from allez, pl. imperative of aller, to go, from Old French aler, to walk; see alley1.


  • Long before the term alley-oop became synonymous with dunking a basketball, San Francisco wide receiver R. C. Owens invented the play on Kezar's turf, using his leaping ability to snag lobs in the end zone from Tittle.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo threw the ball away while looking for a wide-open Allen on a breakaway—but Rondo did acquit himself nicely when he inbounded an alley-oop straight to Garnett for a dunk that cut the Knicks' lead to one and set up Allen's game-winner.

    Boston Snatches Opener From Knicks

  • The dunking machine grabbed the ball with one hand and slammed it in for the incredible alley-oop.

    WATCH: Dunking Sensation Slams One-Handed Alley-Oop

  • The red team took an early 6-0 lead, with Morrison hitting Ndiaye for an alley-oop dunk, Arenas blowing past Wall for an easy layup and Palmer knocking down a long jumper.

    John Wall looks impressive in evening scrimmages

  • Newcomer Kirk Hinrich played some serious defense on Wall, Wall connected with JaVale McGee for several alley-oop dunks, Young buried several contested jumpers, and Arenas provided some flashes of his old (No. 0) self.

    Midnight Tip-Off more marketing savvy, than madness

  • DJ duo Oh Snap!! and Ratt Moze set up Mr. Nasty with an alley-oop for the Tuesday night dunk at DC9.

    Nightlife Agenda

  • They had energy on Friday, however, and it was on display most notably in the second quarter when Marvin Williams threw a high alley-oop to forward Josh Smith for a hard, athletic slam dunk.

    Deflated Knicks Fall to Hawks on the Road

  • Foye lobbed it in the air and Griffin jumped up, grabbed the ball with one hand and dunked it for the alley-oop.

    Blake Griffin Slams One-Handed Alley-Oop In Preseason Game (VIDEO)

  • Wall hit Griffin with two alley-oop passes in the first half, but dazzled the thousands of children in magenta T-Mobile jerseys with a highlight that should get repeated several times this weekend: Wall received an outlet pass just beyond half court, took a step, then bounced the ball off the court.

    John Wall wins MVP, sets assist record in Rookie Challenge victory

  • Note also that last year the Celts were an abysmal alley-oop team.

    Matthew Yglesias » Improving Celtics Backcourt


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  • Haha!

    October 17, 2008

  • Makes a topical palindrome!

    October 16, 2008

  • I suspect most people are glad of that. ;->

    October 16, 2008

  • *Sigh* They don't write 'em like that anymore...

    October 16, 2008

  • He got a big ugly club and a head fulla hairuh. . . .

    October 16, 2008

  • Shame about basketball sinking its claws into this. Happens, 'spose.

    October 16, 2008

  • He'll knuckle your head before you count to foh-wah...

    October 16, 2008

  • Earworm!

    October 16, 2008

  • And (without the hyphen) a song by the Hollywood Argyles, after the comic strip of the same name.

    October 16, 2008

  • Now, mostly a basketball term

    October 16, 2008

  • an acrobatic act, from French 'allez', and English 'up'.

    August 6, 2008