On Thursday morning, College Basketball Talk released our preseason preview on the top dunkers to watch for in 2012-2013. It’s a content–rich list previewing the most elite Division-I slam dunk artists in the country.
But if the past two NCAA Slam Dunk Contests have taught us anything, it’s that we cannot forget about the “little guys”.
In 2011, Jacob Tucker, a 5-foot-11 point guard from Illinois College (D-III) petitioned his way into the contest via social media, and stole the show, using his 50-inch vertical to capture the championship. In 2012, James Justice, a 5-foot-10 point guard from Martin Methodist (NAIA) defeated the likes of Auburn’s Kenny Gabriel and Miami’s DeQuan Jones to keep the Dunk Contest championship belt around the waist of the smaller schools.
If the “little guys” are to complete the three-peat, they will need to find a representative with elite athleticism, leaping ability and creativity.
Meet Tristan Shore, a 6-foot-4 sophomore at Clearwater Christian College a Division-II member of the National Christian College Atheltic Association (NCCAA), in Clearwater FL.
He does 360-dunks over motorcycles.
I think the small schools may have found their representative.
On Wednesday night at CCC’s Midnight Madness event, Shore, a Division-II NCCAA All-American this past season, announced his candidacy for the 2013 NCAA Slam Dunk Contest with an emphatic one-handed 360-jam over a dark blue Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Not only was the dunk the main event of the Cougar’s midnight Madness, it was also done in honor of Nolan Price, a classmate of Shore who was killed in a motorcycle accident on August 24, 2012. Shore used his 40-inch vertical to leap over the Harley with ease, despite never practicing or thinking about the dunk before hand.
Nothing says “College hoops season is almost here” quite like a 360-dunk over a motorcycle.
But a spot in the 2013 NCAA Slam Dunk Contest won’t be a cake-walk for Shore. Kwame Alexander of Cal State San Bernardino (D-II), tore down an entire basket stanchion last season, and will be a formidable foe throughout the year.
But that’s what is great about the build-up to the college hoops season. It’s not even Columbus Day yet and guys from places like Clearwater Christian College are already upping the ante and using hoops to support a good cause.
The bar has officially been set for the 2012-2013 #POSTERIZED series.
Troy Machir is the managing editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @TroyMachir.