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NEW YORK -- The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Sprite® today launched the second annual Sprite Slam Dunk Showdown, a program that provides amateur dunkers a chance to display their best dunking skills and claim the Sprite Slam Dunk Showdown crown. The Showdown expands the annual Sprite Slam Dunk competition at NBA All-Star into a into a three-country search to find the best amateur dunker with 2009 NBA Most Valuable Player presented by Kia Motors LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers helping to choose the champion.

The Sprite Slam Dunk Showdown combines an eight-U.S. city tour -- in which fans can participate in Slam Dunk competitions -- with an online component that will allow fans in the U.S, Canada, and Mexico to upload videos of their own dunks and vote for their favorites in the competition.

Sprite Slam Dunk Showdown competitions will be held from May through July at NBA Nation presented by T-Mobile and Kia Motors, the NBA's touring vehicle that transforms into a 20,000-square-foot basketball playground. The competition will be open to all local dunkers ages 18 and up, who will be able to show off their dunking skills before a panel of judges at NBA Nation. Fans will choose one qualifier during the final round via text voting at NBA Nation. The winner from each city will advance to the voting round and will receive a $1,000 prize and a Flip MinoHD"!, while the runner-up will receive a $500 prize.

Sprite and the NBA have also launched an online destination, NBA.com/dunk, which contains information for fans about the Sprite Slam Dunk Showdown, including how to enter, where to go to compete, and how to vote for the winner. The competition will culminate at NBA All-Star 2011 in Los Angeles, Calif. when four finalists will compete for the chance to be crowned the Sprite Slam Dunk Showdown Champion. The winner will receive a grand prize of $10,000 and will attend the Sprite Slam Dunk contest at STAPLES Center during NBA All-Star Saturday Night on Feb. 19, 2011.

If fans cannot attend one of the NBA Nation stops to compete in a live event, they can log on to NBA.com/dunk to upload a video showcasing their best dunk and check out other dunkers' submissions from across the country. LeBron James will lead a panel of judges to pick the top two qualifiers from the online entries. The two online finalists will receive a $1,000 prize and a Flip MinoHD"!.

Videos of the top two online qualifiers, along with dunk videos of the eight qualifiers from NBA Nation, will be posted on NBA.com/dunk and fans will vote to determine the four finalists. The four dunkers with the most votes will win a trip to NBA All-Star 2011 in Los Angeles, where they will participate in their own dunk contest. Through text voting, the fans will determine which dunker deserves to be crowned the Sprite Slam Dunk Showdown Champion.

During the inaugural Sprite Slam Dunk Showdown at NBA All-Star 2010, the NBA crowned dunker Taurian "Air Up There" Fontenette as Sprite Slam Dunk Showdown Champion before a capacity crowd in Dallas.

Sprite is the world's leading lemon-lime soft drink and has been the Official Soft Drink of the NBA since 1994.

About the NBA

The NBA, founded in 1946, is a professional sports league and global business that features 30 teams in the United States and Canada. During the 2009-10 season, NBA games will reach 215 countries and territories in 41 languages. The league's worldwide reach is also displayed in the 79 international players from 35 countries and territories on NBA rosters. NBA merchandise is sold in more than 100,000 stores in 100 countries on six continents. NBA.com averages more than 26 million page views per day, with more than 50 percent of the site's visitors coming from outside of North America. Through NBA Cares, the league, its teams and players have donated more than $120 million to charity, provided more than one million hours of hands-on service to communities around the world, and created more than 465 places where kids and families can live, learn, or play.

About The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company's portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply and Georgia Coffee. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate of 1.6 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.

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