LaVine soars to Sprite Slam Dunk title, Rookie Timberwolves star gets two perfect scores

The 19-year-old Timberwolves rookie became the Sprite Slam Dunk champion with a precocious, out-of-this-world display of athleticism and imagination at State Farm All-Star Saturday night.

BROOKLYN — Zach LaVine immediately raised the stakes when he walked onto the court wearing a No. 23 Michael Jordan jersey from the 1996 movie Space Jam.
By the time he tossed the ball ahead, caught it with his left hand, went between his legs to his right and threw down a windmilling whipsaw on his first attempt of the night, the only thing left was to quote another of the film’s famous co-stars: “Th-th-th-that’s all, folks!”

The 19-year-old Timberwolves rookie became the Sprite Slam Dunk champion with a precocious, out-of-this-world display of athleticism and imagination at State Farm All-Star Saturday night.
LaVine became the second-youngest champion in the history of the event — Kobe Bryant was 18 — by defeating Victor Oladipo of the Magic in the finals by a score of 94-72.

But the real truth is that LaVine was really only competing with himself all through the event with a gravity-challenging, pretzel-bending, how-does-he-do-that array that dropped jaws. The show grew a dunking legend that was already off the charts on YouTube before he even arrived at the Barclays Center.

“I’m still on cloud nine,” LaVine said. “I feel like I’m dreaming. Seeing all the dunk contests and people hoisting the trophy. I just saw myself do it and lived it. So it’s a dream come true. I’m glad my family is here to witness it and go through it.”

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks and Mason Plumlee of the Nets were eliminated in the first round of the competition when LaVine and Oladipo clearly set themselves apart.
The 6-foot-4 Oladipo, the shortest dunker, got the evening’s first perfect score of 50 with a stunning 360-degree spin move and overhead jam. But LaVine matched that 50 and then scored another with his second dunk by catching a high bounce and taking the ball behind his back before cupping it for a slam and owning the night.

Scores
Round 1: Zach LaVine, 50
Victor Oladipo, 50
Mason Plumlee, 40
Giannis Antetokounmpo, 30
Round 2:
Zach LaVine, 50
Victor Oladipo, 39
Mason Plumlee, 36
Giannis Antetokounmpo, 35
Final Round:
Zach LaVine, 45/49
Victor Oladipo, 31/44

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