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‘Alex’ is the dunking great

Justin Marville

‘Alex’ is the dunking great

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THE DEBATE still rages as to who will finish atop the BABA’s top 30.
But at least everyone knows who is No. 1 in dunking.
Showcasing the hops and flair that has made him a fan favourite, highflying forward Ian Alexander threw down more than the gauntlet after “wind-milling” his way to a dunk-out crown as the highlight of Saturday’s Courts Celebrity Basketball All-Star Festivities at the Wildey Gymnasium.
It was the first time the slam dunk competition was added to the second annual fundraiser, which was capped by yet another exhibition game showcasing popular entertainers playing with some of the country’s former greats.
But the “oohs” and “aahs” reserved for the no-look passes flashed by Cosmo Edwards and Andre Lockhart during the showcase game couldn’t match the response given to Alexander following each of his trademark thunderous throw-downs.
And none were better than his second-round dunk that received a perfect score of 40, after Lakers’ high-jumping highlight reel caught his own toss off the bounce and went full-circle on a one-handed windmill finish at the front of the ring.
This was after the dunk-out threatened to be a dull affair when Alexander had already completed a standard windmill in a first round that featured fellow leapers Dario Cumberbatch, Daniel Lovell and Saeed Norville.
However, Cumberbatch quickly brought the crowd to life with a “bounce-toss” of his own, catching the ball on the other side of the ring before pumping for an emphatic one-handed slam.
Lovell almost went one better, though, when he used Zahir Motara as a prop by jumping over the crouched player, who bounced passed the ball over his shoulder towards the front of the ring. But Lovell just couldn’t come up with the two-handed finish after three attempts, leaving Alexander and Cumberbatch to duke it out in the final.
And the latter quickly fell behind the eight-ball when Alexander responded to his simple two-handed 180 with the perfect score.
Cumberbatch still managed to come up with two decent dunks afterwards; jumping over MC Raheem Elliott for a Motara lob, and finishing another Motara toss from behind the backboard.
But Alexander duly finished off the competition with a two-handed 360 to carry away the crown – to the crowd’s approval.
They were given more of their fair share of highlights afterwards, too, as Lockhart and Holford traded no-look assists among themselves for Team Yellow in what was otherwise a mistake-riddled exhibition.
Their teammates Troy Special and Cosmo Edwards also got in on the “razzle dazzle” passes before Motara responded with a backboard pass to himself and Andrew Pilgrim brought his antics to bear.