Ryan Wright left the rest of the field in the dust with two tremendous throw-downs that amassed 99 out of a possible 100 points in the final round to run away with this year’s Super Basketball League (SBL) Slam Dunk Contest trophy at the Kaohsiung Arena in Greater Kaohsiung last night.
The newest member of the Taiwan Mobile Cloud Leopards out of the University of Oklahoma, who joined the Leopards after the Lunar New Year break last month, defied gravity by launching himself high in the air for a pair of thunderous slams to win the coveted honor of slam-dunk champion, along with a hefty NT$30,000 check in prize money, capping off the first of the two-day weekend of festivities in the annual mid-season hoops gala.
“It’s been a long time since I took part in a contest like this, thanks to the great passes from Su Hsiang-yi [fellow Leopards guard],” Wright said after the contest.
He beat out Liu Tsan of Kinmen Kaoliang, Wu Fong-cheng of the Yulon Luxgens and Taiwan Beer’s Wang Jien-wei in the final round to win bragging rights in the event.
In the highly competitive three-point shootout, Pure Youth Construction’s Doug Creighton upset crowd-favorite Lu Cheng-rue of the Luxgens with 19 points in the final round to win the long-range shooting contest.
It was the first time the former star of the Taipei American School has entered the event, but that did not affect Creighton much as he downed three of the five shots from all five spots around the arc to surprise the 10,000 fans on hand.
Despite being the youngest in a pool of seven, Chou Tzu-hua of Kinmen Kaoliang shook off his baby fat with an outstanding 30.5-second finish to take the title in the skills challenge contest.
The emotional guard out of Fu Jen Catholic University, who barely qualified for the final round with a 33.2-second time in the first round, beat out Chang Bo-sheng of Bank of Taiwan and Hsu “the Fool” Hao-cheng of the Dacin Tigers to win the all-purpose event that consists of dribbling, passing, driving to the hoop and three-point shooting.
SHOOTING STAR CONTEST
The first-ever shooting star contest was won by Bank of Taiwan coach Lai Liang-chung and Wang Nan-kwei along with Taipower’s Chang Shih-jeh of the Women’s Super Basketball League (WSBL).
Rookies Exhibition Game
Quincy Davis of Pure Youth Construction scored a game-high 14 points in the battle between the foreign players and an all-star rookie-and-sophomore team to win the game’s Most Valuable Player honor.
Two women from the WSBL must be in the lineup at the same time with the hired guns to play the top local rookies and sophomores in the league.