Buckle up, people. The man they call "The Masked Dunker" is about to take you on a dunktastical journey through time and space. He's going to make you question all those beautiful things your Physics 101 professor spent hours hammering into your brain. He's going to leap, he's going to soar, and then with the crowd on its feet, he's going to win.
This Thursday on ESPN2, eight seniors will compete for a chance to win the 2011 NCAA dunk contest. And seven of these players (Billy White, Gilbert Brown, Will Coleman, Justin Burrell, Darnell Wilks, Justin Tubbs, and Jacob Tucker) have the athleticism and creativity to dazzle the thousands in attendance and millions watching live on television. Quite honestly, the show could stop there and fans would be delighted.
But it won't.
Not this year. Not when John "The Masked Dunker" Williams was named a contestant. The innocent people behind these selections have no idea what they unleashed by putting this particular name in the field. Because, believe it or not, Williams' presence renders the rest of these so-called "dunkers" obsolete. It's like sticking Duke in the NIT and then hoping for a fair fight. Thanks for playing, folks.
A 6'4" forward from UNC-Asheville, Williams has a 40 inch vertical leap and the willingness to use it every single time he steps on the court. He isn't much of a shooter, not much of a passer, and rarely assumed much of a scoring role over his career. But boy, can he dunk and block shots. Consider: He is No. 1 all-time in UNCA history with 255 career rejections in 120 games. Stop and think about those two numbers in unison for a second. At his size? Absurd. And yet that part of his game is nothing more than a sidebar.
Fully prepared for a chance to captivate a national audience, Williams already knows his plan for Thursday night:
"I've got my lineup of dunks already set. I've been in deep thought about this for about two months. I have four new dunks and a couple in reserve, the just-in-case dunks. And then I have two more just-in-case of the just-in-case."
Well there you go ladies and gentlemen, that's how you take a dunk contest seriously. Instead of simply winging it like we see all the time, Williams is every bit a master of his craft. And FOUR new dunks on live television? That's enough to make me stand up and applaud right now.
You see, Williams doesn't just have hops, he's got filthy, angry, nasty hops. His in-game dunks are a sight to behold (evidence here, here, here, and here), and we're fully expecting him to pull out all the stops on Thursday night. How many people can he jump over this time? Three? Four? A mid-sized car? Blake Griffin?