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Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 at 5:07 pm  |  20 responses

Breaking Through

Dwight Howard got on everyone’s radar. Fast.

He'll be on the game soon.

Guilty as chargedPhotos by Keith Major
Originally published in SLAM 80

Years before he soared as Superman in the dunk contest, Dwight Howard was abusing the basket and showing signs of greatness. Even in high school, young Dwight was a monster, and even though shedding backboards like he did in this pic may not have been the norm, domination sure was. Some things don’t change. — Adam Fleischer

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  • Oli

    one thing that dfinitely changed is the size of his biceps.
    FIRST!

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    Lang needs to retell that broken backboard story again.

  • http://theghostofroyhobbs.blogspot.com Mo Charlo

    cosign albie

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    I will…maybe one day this week.

  • minikidd

    could you pleas post a link to that story? I’ve been trying to find for ages, I remember the “dunked on” conversation he had with his father.. hilarious..

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    Whats an Okafor?

  • j-smoov 5

    @Ciolkstar:
    Hahaha

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    FOR 14 POINTS AND 12 REBOUNDS!!!!!

  • Blinguo

    Who had to pay up for the backboard? Was he as open about being goofy as he is now Lang, or was he in the Shaq not in his element yet, all business? (he didn’t want to give up he got dunked on by Marv you mentioned even back then and he had a good relationship with pops – level headed, but not on the goofy Shaqtus stylin’ tip yet right?)

  • http://slamonline.com Tzvi T

    It was a cover story, for the cover shot, no?

  • Blinguo

    Dwight just broke Emeka’s mental backboard tonight into a million pieces. 45, 19, 8 blocks. BEAST.

  • BogMog

    Beast on Steroids? Or am I just jealous?

  • underdog

    I think, dude has spent some time in the weight room since the photo shoot.

  • Blinguo

    He’s pretty damn lean and cut. He’s not Barry Bonds wide load. But think whatever you will. Don’t leave out LeBron if you want to scream roid rage though.

  • http://www.kicksonfire.com Anton

    too bad he can’t take advantage of some young honeys, being a christian and all

  • don

    “too bad he can’t take advantage of some young honeys, being a christian and all ”

    who knows right?

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Here’s the story real fast-like: I was in ATL for a cover for Dwight…he was about to finish his senior year of HS (actually we did this shoot and interview the morning before his senior prom). The picture at the top is from his parent’s house, where we hung out all morning. Then we went over to his high school to shoot some pics (his dad was the athletic director at Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy and had the keys to the gym). His dad went off to make some calls or something and left us alone in the gym. For one of the first pics Keith, the photog, asked Dwight to pretend to dunk so we could get a pic of him way up in the air. Keith was getting his camera ready and Dwight was practicing and went up and shattered the backboard with a two-handed dunk. There was a loud bang and glass went everywhere. There were only 4 of us in the gym (Keith, me, Dwight and Dwight’s cousin Kevin who still works with him now) and we didn’t know how to react. Everyone was quiet at first and then we all flipped out and started screaming and yelling. Since Keith didn’t even have his camera out we didn’t get a pic of the glass breaking, but we took about 200 pics afterwards, of all of us posing in front of the glass. I grabbed a few pieces of the glass and have some of them here on my desk even now. The down part was when Dwight’s dad came back in and immediately said, “OK, who’s paying for this?” Turned out the school had insurance but was going to have to pay $500 for the installation. When I got back to NYC, Big Dwight (Dwight’s dad) called me like every other day for the next three weeks. I told him I wasn’t in charge of the money and he had to talk to our publisher, but he kept calling me. Then about a month later Dwight signed a $10 mil contract with the Magic. Not sure how that eventually worked out — we may have paid for it. But Dwight’s cousin Kevin always starts jokingly asking me for $500 every time I see him.

  • KozmicKid505

    Ha ! Big Dwight is crazy. Damn Superbaby seriously has some Superman juice in him..

  • No.2

    The top photo is fantastic, great contrast and colors, very no-country-for-old-men-esque.

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