Recapping the American Family Insurance High School Dunk Contest.
by Dave Spahn / @davespahn
Although the casual fans in New Orleans will get to see an extremely special set of games on Saturday, the basketball junkies in The Big Easy got to see arguably the best event of the weekend on Friday night. The event? The American Family Insurance High School Dunk Contest.
From Dalante Dunklin breaking out a Jackie Moon Flint Tropics jersey to JP Tokoto’s 360 reverse eastbay, this event surpassed all expectations. The event’s judges were NFL running back Pierre Thomas, CBS basketball analyst Jeff Goodman, former LSU defensive tackle and projected first-round pick Michael Brackers, AP First-Team All-American and former Michigan State star Draymond Green, and former Missouri standout Marcus Denmon.
The first round was highlighted by Dunklin’s outrageously awesome outfit, Tokoto’s windmill off the glass, and Shaq Johnson’s 360, two-hand slam in which he almost nailed his head on the rim.
Wally Ellenson, a Minnesota recruit, proved to be the surprise player at the event. He landed a dunk that sent the gym into a frenzy when he tossed the ball behind his back, caught it in mid air, and did a 180-degree, two-hand slam. He advanced to the second round and may have moved onto the championship if he landed a 180-degree, between-the-legs dunk while coming around the rim.
The show reached its climax when Tokoto soared straight over Michael Brockers. Not to be outdone, of course, Johnson came back with a trick of his own up his sleeve. Not only did he jump over Brockers as well, he brought out Draymond Green, made him stand behind Brockers, and flew right over both of them! Mind you, Green and Brockers are BIG dudes. Really big dudes. The video sums it up best.
In the championship round, Tokoto landed his 360 reverse eastbay as time was about to expire. Shaq Johnson tried landing a 520-degree dunk but never successfully threw it down, making Tokoto the contest champion.
Watch out Jeremy Evans; these young guys are gunning for your dunk contest crown!