Crosset, Arkansas native Jeremy Evans won the NBA's annual letdown, the Slam Dunk Contest. The highlight of his performance was his patented, "jump over guy in chair, catch two balls in mid air, and throw it down" dunk. It is quite difficult to execute, as evidenced by his failed first attempt. See it here:
While the dunk contest is mostly associated with Michael Jordan's "Air" logo, Dwight Howard donning his Superman cape, Vince Carter hanging from the rim by his elbow, and Blake Griffin jumping over the hood of a Kia, there have been several lesser known players make a name for themselves among basketball fans by performing in and winning the contest. Like that guy who blew out the candle on a cupcake a few years ago. Or the various dudes who dunked blindfolded in the 90s.
The pertinent question is where this places him in the annals of Arkansas basketball performances. Clearly, it puts in Scottie Pippen and Derek Fisher's club for Arkansans who weren't Razorbacks but won NBA hardware. And if you look at the resumes of some of the people already in the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, you have to wonder, how much more does Evans have to do to get in? He's unlikely to be a headliner, but it seems he'd have decent odds of being one of those guys "also entering the hall this year." (sarcasm level: mild.)
In addition to his dunk title, Evans played for Western Kentucky for four years and is the program's all time leader in blocked shots. He was also a member of the 2009 team that, as a 12-seed, upset Illinois in the NCAA Tournament. Per the Western Kentucky website, Evans drew a sketch of CBS announcer Dan Bonner during the tournament that year (really). He was named All-State his junior and senior year of high school, as well as County Player of the Year as a senior.
If you're wondering why Stan Heath didn't recruit an in-state player who'd go on to be drafted by the Utah Jazz, we couldn't tell you. Perhaps, like Pippen, he grew quite a bit after getting into college.
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