NEW YORK, January 31 -- Seattle's Desmond Mason will return to defend his title and Houston's Steve Francis, the 2000 runner-up, today are named as participants in the NBA.com Slam Dunk presented by RealOne™ to be held on NBA All-Star Saturday Night, February 9 at the First Union Center in Philadelphia.


Francis will do double-duty in the Slam Dunk and the All-Star Game this year.
Noren Trotman
NBAE/Getty Images
This year's contest will feature four exciting young aerial artists in a head-to-head bracketed competition that will also feature a teammate component for the third consecutive year. In addition to Mason and Francis competing, first-timers Jason Richardson of the Golden State Warriors and Gerald Wallace of the Sacramento Kings will take part.

Additionally, for the first time in the 17-year history of the contest, NBA.com will provide basketball fans with the opportunity to serve as real judges. All scores received on NBA.com after each dunk will be calculated in real time, averaged and will count as one-fifth of the overall judging.

The contestants in the NBA.com Slam Dunk presented by RealOne will be competing for $60,000 in prize money, with $25,000 going to the winner. Second place is worth $15,000 while third place and fourth place is worth $10,000 each.

NBA All-Star Saturday Night, featuring the 989 Sports All-Star Hoop-It-Up, 1 800 CALL ATT Shootout and NBA.com Slam Dunk presented by RealOne will be broadcast live nationally at 8 p.m. EST by TNT, TSN and ESPN Radio.

The NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, February 10 will be broadcast live nationally on NBC, CTV and on ESPN Radio from the First Union Center at 5 p.m. EST. The game will also be televised around the world in over 200 countries.

For complete coverage of the events of NBA All-Star 2002, please visit NBA.com's All-Star section at NBA.com.

Attached are the previous winners and lineups for the 2002 NBA.com Slam Dunk presented by RealOne:

2002 NBA.com Slam Dunk presented by RealOne Competitors:
Participant, Team Pos. Ht. Wt.
Steve Francis, Houston G 6-3 195
Desmond Mason, Seattle F 6-7 224
Jason Richardson, Golden St. G 6-6 222
Gerald Wallace, Sacramento F 6-7 215

NBA.com Slam Dunk presented by RealOne Year-by-Year Winners:
1984—Larry Nance, Phoenix
1985—Dominique Wilkins, Atlanta
1986—Spud Webb, Atlanta
1987—Michael Jordan, Chicago
1988—Michael Jordan, Chicago
1989 -- Kenny Walker, New York
1990—Dominique Wilkins, Atlanta
1991—Dee Brown, Boston
1992—Cedric Ceballos, Phoenix
1993—Harold Miner, Miami
1994—Isaiah Rider, Minnesota
1995—Harold Miner, Miami
1996—Brent Barry, L.A. Clippers
1997—Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers
2000 – Vince Carter, Toronto
2001 -- Desmond Mason, Seattle