NBA, Playground / Feb 3, 2010 / 11:59 am

LeBron, Drake & Chocolate Thunder To Pick The Nation’s Best Amateur Dunker

While everyone will be waiting to see if Nate Robinson can make it three in a row, the search for the nation’s best amateur dunker will culminate when four finalists compete in the inaugural Sprite Slam Dunk Showdown during NBA All-Star Weekend next week. And although the League couldn’t get him to compete, LeBron James will be among the panel of judges who will help determine the winner, along with his boy Drake (who will also perform) and NBA Legend Darryl Dawkins.

Each participant will perform two dunks in the first round. The two with the highest score from the judges will advance to the second and final round. In the finals, each participant will complete two dunks and fans will determine the winner via text message. The champion will receive a $10,000 grand prize and the opportunity to present the trophy to the winner of the Sprite Slam Dunk competition at the American Airlines Center the following night.

Here are the four finalists with some video evidence:

Willie Barnes, 6-6, a.k.a. “Flyte”
Barnes, 28, hailing from Wilson, N.C., brings 10 years of dunking experience to the Showdown and is the winner of the semifinal competition in Washington, D.C.

Taurian Fontenette, 6-2, a.k.a. “Air Up There”
Fontenette, 27, of Hitchcock, Texas, is an 11–year dunking veteran who won the semifinal competition in Dallas.

Haneef Munir, 5-10, a.k.a. “Young Hollywood”
Los Angeles native Munir, 21, has been dunking for more than seven years and won the semifinal competition in his hometown.

Carlos Smothers, 6-0, a.k.a. “Los”
Smothers, 21, from Union City, Calif., is the only finalist to clinch a spot in the Showdown through the online competition by uploading his dunk clip to NBA.com/dunk. He has been dunking since he was 13.

Who do you think is going to win?

The Sprite Slam Dunk Showdown will take place during the NBA All-Star Jam Session at the Dallas Convention Center on Friday, Feb. 12 at 9:00 PM EST. The event will be streamed live on NBA.com and will air on NBA TV on Saturday, Feb.13 at 6:00 p.m. EST.

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  • http://www.nbashoes101.blogspot.com Jay

    My boy Young Hollywood will definitely have a great shot at winning. I have played with him in real life and I’m just saying, that these videos are NON-COMPAREABLE to what it’s like!

  • quest???

    air up there and young hollywood can really fly

  • quest???

    why the fck is drake judging? what does he know? i bet he cant even jump higher than a penny laying flat.

  • high ankle sprains

    Guy Dupuy From team flight brothers would kill this competition where’s he at?

  • justcallmejuice

    looks like Young Hollywood is dunking on a 9′ net – unless he has a 50+” vertical… he’s 5’10 and getting his head above the rim? c’mon son…

  • Adam Flomenbaum

    Air Up There is going to dominate this thing

  • ballin

    Air up there, and it’s not even close.

    That video is RETARDED. He’s throwing down Vince Carter-esque dunks. He’s good enough to be in the NBA’s dunk competition, let alone this amateur stuff.

  • Rizwan

    Nate didnt win 3 in a row. Didnt Dwight win one in between?

  • cb4

    air up there will dominate. the first guy here is just plain garbage.

    where is t dub, and the french guy, they should include justin darlington from canada, that guy can fly.

    on another note, t dub should put on a nate robinson mask and replace him in the actual dunk contest. that way it would be a lot more exciting.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Whatever with LeBron doing anything regarding a dunk contest, dude is lame (in regards to dunks). I refuse to get hype on his dunks anymore (less they be on someone).

    Drake? Seriously. Wack again.

    Sprite should have and could have come better.

  • http://nerditry.com nerditry

    What happened to Guy Dupuy? Shaq and Mutombo would have a heart attack if he were there.


  • BigRedFred

    Ya what da hell does he(Drake) know about ball then again what does he know about rapping too…..

  • ab_40

    I hope they get some air time or show it live on nba.com or something I wanna see this more then I wanna see the normal dunk contest.

    and those three were vote in dunkers so if your guy isn’t in there it’s YOUR fault.

  • Detroit Dave

    I bet this dunk contest will be better than the NBA Version. Where is Springs outta Detroit?

  • http://dime eyes

    @9…”on another note, t dub should put on a nate robinson mask and replace him in the actual dunk contest. that way it would be a lot more exciting.”

    Hilarious. Who says that? LOLOLOL.

  • Raj S

    The first and last guys have no chance unless AUT and YH mess up.

    Speaking of YH, odds are that either he is taller than 5’10 or he is dunking on a short rim. We’ll see next Friday

    I hope AUT tries the 720. If he makes it, it’s over.

    Also, Air ‘Bama should be in there. His youtube clips are ferocious.

  • ShowKase


    You got a real dunker (Chocolate Thunder), a punk who got dunked on, then tried to hide the tape (LeBitch), and a guy who tore is ACL WALKING on stage (Drake). C’mon son!

  • Jaz

    I hope AUT represent and bring it on home……