Think back to the last time someone told you “Hello!” or “Good job!” by giving you a high five. This energetic pat made by two hands meeting can be a true sign of congratulations and celebration. But who gave the very first high five?
While it’s not clear exactly who invented the high five, most agree that this gesture became famous at sporting events! Some say Los Angeles Dodgers baseball player Glenn Burke was the first to high five when he congratulated teammate Dusty Baker for hitting a home run at a 1977 baseball game.
But others say it was a basketball player named Lamont Sleets, Jr. who made the high five popular by performing it with his teammates, recalling a gesture called “the five” that he’d learned from his Dad and his army friends as a young boy in the 1960s.
Still others claim the high five was invented by University of Louisville Cardinals basketball player Derek Smith during the 1979-80 national championship season. Many say that Smith and his teammates helped make the gesture popular by giving high fives during their games. Now that’s letting your hands do the talking!