Where did the baby name Javale come from in 2011?

Basketball player JaVale McGee
JaVale McGee

The name Javale debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 2011:

  • 2014: 5 baby boys named Javale
  • 2013: 8 baby boys named Javale
  • 2012: 8 baby boys named Javale
  • 2011: 9 baby boys named Javale [debut]
  • 2010: unlisted
  • 2009: unlisted

What put it there?

Professional basketball player JaVale (pronounced jah-VAYL) McGee, who has been playing in the NBA since 2008.

I think the thing that drew extra attention to JaVale circa 2011 (while he was playing for the Washington Wizards) was his strong performance in the 2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest on January 6 of that year. He finished in 2nd place and, even more notably, he dunked three basketballs in one jump. According to Guinness World Records, that’s the most basketball dunks in a single jump.

What do you think of the name JaVale?

Sources: JaVale McGee – Wikipedia, SSA

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