Between the five teams ranked in the top 30 by MaxPreps and the rest of the ‘Iolani Prep Classic field, there is plenty of expectation for tonight’s slam dunk competition.
In fact, this might be the most explosive group of dunkers at the Classic in several years. Last year’s champ was Kamehameha’s Kamren Victorino-Kato, but he was among the few who displayed true creativity, hang time and FORCE.
The event is pure fun time for fans, and each year the gym is packed for the highlight-level performances that follow the last quarterfinal game at roughly 10 p.m.
There’s no guarantee that every talented skywalker will participate, but at least one has a guarantee. Niven Glover of Oak Ridge (Fla.), who threw down a mix of dunks including a 360-degree jam during a win over Kailua, said he has entered.
The 6-foot-5 senior is an automatic contender, if not favorite. He is also a fan favorite, signing autographs for a few minutes after his team’s game on Wednesday night.
“I’m in it. I’m gonna show the fans something crazy. Something they’ve never seen before,” said Glover, who scored 33 points in the opening-round victory.
Another fan favorite is Cassius Stanley, Sierra Canyon’s 6-7 forward. One of his many dunks during a win over Hawaii Prep was pure rocket launch style from halfcourt after a steal. He went full blast like a take-off on a runway and left the ground near the free-throw line for the dunk.
Stanley’s teammate, Kenyon “KJ” Martin Jr., is another electrifying playmaker and dunker. His left-handed throwdowns jolted spectators on Wednesday night.
There are a handful of athletic 6-8, 6-9 scorers who have wowed the Classic audience with powerful, graceful dunks in game action. The top prospect in the tourney, 6-9 forward Isaiah Stewart of No. 6 La Lumiere (Ind.) may be a possibility.
So is 6-9 jumping jack Precious Achiuwa of No. 1 Montverde (Fla.). West Linn (Ore.) has some athletes, too.
Judges — and fans — have often favored the sub 6-7 dunker over the giants when it comes to the contest.
Another possibility was Kordel Ng of St. Francis. The 5-9 junior has displayed incredible hops since his prep career began. Ng is diligent about workouts and is assertive at rim level on both ends of the floor, often taking on opponents 6-5 and taller. However, as of Thursday morning, Ng is unlikely to enter the contest this year. He has played practically every minute of the Saints’ preseason games and is likely to rest after their consolation game today.