by Adam Maher / @ArtoMar1
Congrats to Shabazz Muhammad on winning the 2012 McDonald’s All-American Dunk Contest Monday afternoon!
Year after year, the McDonald’s Dunk Contest lives up to the hype. With the win, Shabazz has aligned himself with an impressive array of high-flyers who have won in the past 10 years, including LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Gerald Green and DeMar DeRozan, to name a few.
Let’s take a look back at the McDonald’s Dunk Contests of the past 10 years, and check in briefly on what the various winners have been up to.
2012 Winner:Shabazz Muhammad Shabazz is amongst the most anticipated of players who have yet to announce where they will play college ball.
2011 Winner: LeBryan Nash Nash enjoyed a healthy freshman year at Oklahoma State, averaging 13.3 PPG, five boards and nearly two assists. He has a tough decision this spring: enter the draft or return for his sophomore year? If I were him, I’d stay. Then again, if not for the 2005 CBA Draft Rule, Nash probably would’ve gone to the draft straight out of HS.
2010 Winner: Josh Selby Who unfortunately was recently sent down to the D-League from the Memphis Grizzlies after a 25 game stint in which he averaged 2.5 points and 1.2 assists. Dude still has ups, though.
2009 Winner: Avery Bradley Who scored a career high 23 points for the Boston Celtics on Sunday. Bradley will look to step his game up with Ray Allen and Mickael Pietrus on the bench due to injury.
2008 Winner: DeMar DeRozan Who dropped 30 points on the Knicks earlier this week. Though he missed his first start for the first time in 130 starts due to an ankle sprain. He’s averaging 16.5 PPG this season.
2007 Winner: Blake Griffin Self-explanatory.
2006 Winner: Gerald Henderson, Jr. Selected 12th overall out of Duke University in 2009, Gerald has been making waves this year in comparison to his rookie and sophomore seasons. Averaging 14.5 ppg during 21.8 mpg on the year, Henderson, who netted 29 points against Milwaukee this past Friday night, a career high, has been a shining light for the rebuilding Bobcats this season.
2005 Winner: Gerald Green Whose current campaign for Dunk of the Year is hard to argue against.
2004 Winner: Candace Parker It should be noted that Candace was the first female to ever dunk at the McDonald’s Dunk contest, not to mention she beat out JR Smith and Rudy Gay for the Championship (only female to win the Dunk Contest since they started pinning the boys vs. the girls). Also, a very special shout-out goes to Breanna Stewart, the UConn-bound, 2012 USA Girls High School Basketball Player of the Year, who threw down a few dunks of her own yesterday afternoon.
2003 Winner: LeBron James Personally, I don’t push for a LeBron dunk contest entry. People need to realize that NBA All-Star Weekend is the closest thing to a vacation NBA players get all season. Give the dude a break! He does it every night!
2002 Winner: Carmelo Anthony Melo went toe to toe with none other than his current Knicks teammate, Amar’e Stoudemire, in an epic duel.
The McDonald’s All-American Dunk Contest sure has some bright history over the past 10 years. Make sure to catch the game tomorrow night. I got my money on UCLA-bound Kyle Anderson from St. Anthony’s (NJ) High School to do big things. After leading St. Anthony’s to 65 straight victories and two New Jersey state titles, the 6-8 PG has already drawn Magic Johnson comparisons.