It’s the dream of basketball players everywhere, to dunk for the King in his court. For one of the nation’s top amateur dunkers, the dream is coming true.
Union City’s Carlos Smothers, a.k.a. “Los,” is getting the chance to show off his dunking skills for a panel of judges including LeBron James at the coming NBA All-Star Weekend in Dallas. Smothers is one of four finalists competing in the inaugural Sprite Slam Dunk Showdown on Friday.
Smothers, who played at James Logan High School before graduating in ’06, got into the show as the only finalist to clinch a spot through the online competition, after getting some help from his friends at BallIsLife.com. The judging panel includes LeBron, NBA legend Darryl Dawkins and two-time GRAMMY nominee Drake.
He started dunking at the age of 13. “It was actually in a game and I was on a fast break,” says Smothers, adding, “I was thinking about laying it up, but decided to go and dunk for it and I went up and I dunked it and the crowd went crazy.” He says he’s patterned his style after former Golden State Warrior guard Jason Richardson, who took Carlos under his wing as a mentor after meeting him at one of the Warriors basketball camps.
Smothers is currently attending Ohlone College and hopes the connections he makes at the competition can lead to some opportunities in basketball. “It’s going to be one of my biggest feats and hopefully it’ll bring out the best in me,” he says, adding, “so hopefully, I get to show up and show out.”
Here are the rules according to the All-Star Weekend organizers: ‘Participants 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 SMS 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 American Airlines Center the following night.’
The event will he streamed live on NBA.com on Friday night at 6 p.m. Pacific, and NBA TV will air the competition Saturday at 3 p.m.
Laurence Scott's favorite All-Star dunk moment also came in Dallas when Spud Webb vaulted his way to the title.