The first night of the inaugural West Coast All-Star Classic belonged to Zach LaVine, who thrilled the crowd at Rainier Beach High with a brilliant display of high-flying acrobatics to win the slam dunk contest.
“I got about 7-8 dunks I know I can get a pretty good score on,” he said. “I haven’t lost a dunk contest in about three years so I always keep my dunks in hand. It was fun. It’s always fun and to know this was the last one for me in high school makes it even more special.”
LaVine, who won the dunk title last week at the BallisLife All-American Game, was the favorite Friday night in a field that included Ohio State signee Kameron Williams, Michigan State signee Gavin Schilling, Fresno State signee Karachi Soma Edo, Rainier Beach High star Marquis Davis (Santa Clara) and Garfield High standout Tucker Haymond (Western Michigan).
Most contestants drew low scores from a panel of celebrity judges that included Hall of Famer Gary Payton, for Sonics legend Shawn Kemp, Boston Celtics forward Terrence Williams, Seahawks receiver Jermaine Kearse and former Oregon coach Ernie Kent.
LaVine was the last contestant in the first round, but after his first attempt it was clear he’d win the competition.
The wiry 6-4 Bothell guard who will play at UCLA next season season leaped toward the rim, maneuvered the ball between his legs in the air before flushing a right-handed jam. He received five 10s from the judges.
LaVine’s next attempt was somewhat modest, but he was given another perfect score.
His winning dunk was a slight variation of his between-the-legs first attempt, however, he flushed a reverse jam before falling to the floor. (Video highlights above). The crowd went crazy. Every judge waived cards that read 10 and LaVine was mobbed on the court by players and fans.
He easily won the title. After some urging from the MC, LaVine gave the fans one more highlight, which was arguably his best dunk. He bounced high off the floor and wrapped the ball around his waist before hammering a thunderous jam.
Earlier in the night, Seattle Prep star D.J. Fenner, who will play at Nevada next season, won the three-point competition.