FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BLAKE GRIFFIN TO COMPETE IN 2011 SPRITE SLAM DUNK

-- Special Online Video Series "Sprite Slam Dunk: Countdown to the Contest" Will Give Fans an Inside Look at Participants’ Preparations at NBA.com/Dunk --

Los Angeles Clippers rookie forward Blake Griffin will compete in the 2011 Sprite Slam Dunk on Feb. 19 at STAPLES Center. Griffin will be joined by the Milwaukee Bucks’ Brandon Jennings, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Serge Ibaka and the Washington Wizards’ JaVale McGee.

Griffin currently leads the NBA with 81 dunks and is averaging 2.4 dunks per game this season, while leading all rookies with 21.7 points per game and 12.5 rebounds.

Griffin is the first Clippers player to participate in the Slam Dunk contest since Corey Maggette in 2001. Clippers guard Brent Barry won the Slam Dunk in 1996, and last season Griffin’s teammate Eric Gordon participated in the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk-In at halftime of the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge, losing to Demar DeRozan.

As part of the special online video series, “Sprite Slam Dunk: Countdown to the Contest,” each participant will be matched up with a dunk coach who will work with his respective player to create and practice some of the electrifying dunks that will take place during the event in Los Angeles.

Griffin will match up with TNT analyst and two-time Slam Dunk participant (1990, 1991) Kenny Smith; Jennings will practice with NBA Legend Darryl Dawkins; McGee will work with NBA TV/TNT analyst and five-time NBA All-Star Chris Webber; and Ibaka will prepare with Thunder teammate and 2009-10 NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant.

Fans will again have the opportunity to determine the winner of the Sprite Slam Dunk as part of the “They Dunk. You Decide” campaign, which debuted as part of the event in 2008.

The two dunkers with the highest first round scores will advance to the final round. The dunker with the lowest total score from the first round will compete first in the final round. Dunks then will alternate until each player has completed two. Time limit rules still apply. In the final round, fan voting polls will open via SMS TXT message and at NBA.com. The combined results from SMS TXT voting and NBA.com will determine the champion.

The Sprite Slam Dunk is part of NBA All-Star 2011, which also includes the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam, NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by State Farm featuring the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, Haier Shooting Stars and Taco Bell Skills Challenge; NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas; and the 60th NBA All-Star Game.

Sprite, the world’s leading lemon-lime soft drink, has been the official soft drink of the NBA since 1994 and the title partner of the All-Star Slam Dunk competition since 2003.

Below is a list of previous Sprite Slam Dunk winners:

SPRITE SLAM DUNK 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
2002—Jason Richardson, Golden State
2003—Jason Richardson, Golden State
2004—Fred Jones, Indiana
2005—Josh Smith, Atlanta
2006—Nate Robinson, New York
2007—Gerald Green, Boston
2008—Dwight Howard, Orlando
2009—Nate Robinson, New York
2010—Nate Robinson, New York

2011 SPRITE SLAM DUNK COMPETITORS
Participant Team Pos. Ht. Wt.
Blake GriffinL.A. ClippersF6-10251
Brandon JenningsMilwaukee BucksG6-1169
Serge IbakaOklahoma City ThunderF6-10235
JaVale McGeeWashington WizardsC7-0252

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®. 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.

# # #

Media can follow @NBAPR (twitter.com/nbapr) on Twitter for NBA media news and information.

More News