by Rodger Bohn / @rodgerbohn
Arguably the most fun part of McDonald’s All-American Week would have to be the POWERADE Jam Fest, which took place last evening at Value City Arena in Columbus. It was done with typical format as year’s past, with both the boys and girls competing in the skills competitions and three point competitions respectively. Then you obviously have the creme de la creme, the POWERADE Jam Fest.
Boys and Girls Skills Challenge
Now if you think the NBA Skills Challenge is lacking in drama, please imagine a bunch of 17, 18 year olds being forced to compete in it so everyone takes part in the competition. Now don’t get me wrong, there were a few of the youngsters who genuinely wanted to take part in the contest. For the most part though, the vast majority of players seemed more concerned with scoring a good seat for the dunk contest and getting their iPhones ready to record. Michigan State recruit Keith Appling and Duke signee Chelsea Gray each took home the trophy for the boys and girls respectively.
Boys and Girls Three Point Contests
With that out of our hair, we got a tad bit more excitement watching the three point contests. As a relative basketball purist, I do actually enjoy critiquing the nation’s finest as they hoist up jumper after jumper. My personal pick was soon to be UNC stud Reggie Bullock who disappointed me by coming in second place after losing a tiebreaker to Cory Joseph. The Canadian born Joseph became the first player north of the border to take home the trophy with his high release and 22-point showing in the finals. Arguably the nation’s top two players, Harrison Barnes and Brandon Knight finished in third and fourth place respectively.
On the girls side, Penn State bound Maggie Lucas was deemed the queen of the three point contest after tying Joseph’s 22-point showing herself.
POWERADE JAM FEST
— One of the favorites by most members of the media, CJ Leslie, had the most disappointing showing of anyone in the contest. Everyone has seen him get his head at the rim who has caught him in person or on YouTube, so we couldn’t believe it when we saw him brick dunk after dunk in the first round of the Jam Fest. We’ve seen enough of you to know you may very well have the sickest bounce of anyone in the Class of 2010.
— The top player in the state of Illinois, Jereme Richmond, had a pair of nasty bangs in the contest (that can be seen around the :35 mark HERE) but didn’t quite score high enough to make it to the finals. The Illinois recruit is more of a game dunker but still held his own here in Columbus.
— Patric Young, who will be featured in the next issue of SLAM in the PUNKS section, had some nasty power dunks in the early rounds, with the best of which being a power dunk off of a side of the backboard oop. The Florida recruit did not make many friends in Columbus fans too happy after doing the Florida Gator “chomp” in Ohio State’s gym, leading to a flurry of boo’s and expletives being thrown at Jacksonville’s finest. The onslaught by the sour fans did not bode well for Young in the finals, where he seemed a bit rattled and missed the majority of his dunk attempts.
— The tallest dunker in the competition, 6-11 Perry Jones, had a few sick dunks including a VC-esque reverse 360 windmill (first contact dunk in this video). The Dallas native showed off his crazy hops with getting his head at rim level a number of times, but didn’t quite have the flash to lock up a spot in the finals. After the Baylor commit missed a few between the legs dunk attempts, he seemingly went the safe route with a simple windmill….which in turn got him a safe spot out of the contest.
— The runner up, 6-1 Ray McCallum, had a number of really impressive dunks that straight up shocked most experts. Not normally a game dunker, Ray Mac had a dirty switch-hand windmill to go along with a pair of impressive 360 dunks. The Detroit native went into a dunk-off with Josh Selby, before eventually coming up a bit short after missing a number of between the legs dunks. (NOTE: All of McCallum’s dunks can be seen HERE).
— The other player favored by members of the media was 6-3 Josh Selby. Hailing from Baltimore, “Showtime” killed an eastbay off of the bounce and hit nasty reverse pumps and 360s off of lobs too. The one that capped it off was a 360 off of a self-oop that he threw down with his left hand. All of Selby’s dunks can be seen HERE at different angles from the previous videos to truly get an appreciation of the bounce this guard has.