Slam dunk

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A slam dunk (or simply a dunk) is a type of basketball shot that is performed when a player jumps in the air and manually powers the ball downward through the basket with one or both hands over the rim.[1] This is considered a normal field goal attempt; if successful it is worth two points. The term "slam dunk" was coined by Los Angeles Lakers announcer Chick Hearn.[2] Prior to that, it was known as a dunk shot.[1]

The slam dunk is one of the highest percentage shots one can attempt in basketball as well as one of the most crowd-pleasing plays. Slam dunks are also performed as entertainment outside of the game, especially during slam dunk contests. Perhaps the most popular such contest is the NBA Slam Dunk Contest held during the annual NBA All-Star Weekend. The first slam dunk contest was held during an American Basketball Association All Star Game.

Dunking was banned in the NCAA from 1967 to 1976. Many have attributed this to the dominance of the then-college phenomenon Lew Alcindor (now called Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) upon his entry into the NCAA. Subsequently, the no-dunking rule is sometimes referred to as the "Lew Alcindor rule."[3][4]

The phrase "slam dunk" has since entered popular usage, meaning a "sure thing" – an action with a guaranteed outcome.


Notable dunks

Olympic Gold Medalist Bob Kurland was a 7-foot center and the first player to regularly dunk during games in the 1940's and 50's. Wilt Chamberlain was known to have dunked on an experimental 12-foot basket set up by Phog Allen at the University of Kansas in the 1950s.[5] Michael Wilson, a former Harlem Globetrotter and University of Memphis basketball player, matched this feat on April 1, 2000 albeit with an alley-oop. Dwight Howard dunked on an 12ft basket in the 2009 NBA dunk contest also off an ally-oop.

Jim Pollard[6], Wilt Chamberlain[5], Julius Erving, Clyde Drexler, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Kobe Bryant, Stromile Swift, Shawn Kemp, Grant Hill, Darrell Griffith, Korleone Young, Edgar Jones, LeBron James, James White, Vince Carter, Jason Richardson, Jamario Moon, Hakeem Olajuwon, Chris Webber, Dwight Howard, Mike Conley, Sr., Samuel Dalembert, Brent Barry and Al Thornton have each dunked while jumping from around the free throw line, which is 15 feet from the basket. Unlike the others, Wilt Chamberlain did not require a full running start, but instead began his movement from inside the top half of the free throw circle.[5]

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