The announcement of the 2017 dunk contest came out on Feb. 2 and there was one unfamiliar name on the list, Derrick Jones Jr. A little background for this undrafted, unknown man, he grew up in Chester, Pennsylvania and played high school ball at Archbishop John Carroll High School. In his senior season Archbishop Carroll went 23-7 and Derrick won numerous awards. He was rated as a four star recruit by ESPN and was ranked 30th in the nation for the 2015 recruiting class. He decided to commit to UNLV and his college dream did not start as planned.
Derrick and other 2015 commits were investigated by the NCAA for speculation of altering their ACT scores, eventually nothing came of the first investigation and Derrick was eligible to hit the court. In his freshman year he was the Runnin’ Rebels’ second-leading scorer averaging 11.5 points a game. Then again the ACT situation came up mid season in February and he was forced to sit out the rest of the 2016 season. With his freshman year over Derrick decided on entering to the draft.
Derrick’s professional career started with the Sacramento Kings in 2016, but due to a groin injury he was had to sit out. Soon after that injury he became a part of the Phoenix Suns organization and currently plays on their D-League team, the Northern Arizona Suns. He is playing 32 minutes a game, averaging 15 points, and 6 boards a night. Those numbers aren’t amazing, but what he is known for is being able to jump out of the gym.
The complete list of 2017 dunk participants consist of Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic (last year's runner up), DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers, Glenn Robinson III from the Pacers, and Derrick Jones Jr. I personally like the decision to have Derrick Jones Jr. in this dunk contest even though he has only played 11 minutes with the Suns. I feel the majority of NBA fans will agree that the dunk contest is not what it used to be and adding in a new face will help this contest. The fact that the dunk contest is one of the top stories on ESPN is something I have not seen in awhile and it is because of the decision to add in a D-Leaguer. It is a great thing to see because this event showcases one of the most exciting plays and some of the most athletic talents in all of sports. As for the future of the contest I think it would be interesting to see some the famous street ball dunkers that we see on Twitter or Youtube doing some freakish dunks.
I am only one opinion, I would really like to hear what other fans think of this. Please comment below or feel free to tweet @Guy_ND_TK and give a blurb if you agree or disagree with having Derrick Jones Jr. in the 2017 Dunk Contest.