Blakely, Smith and Jones win Shooting Stars title.
ORLANDO – L.D. Williams’ winning dunk, a thunderous windmill slam that left him hanging from the rim by his right elbow, and Booker Woodfox’s repeat victory in the Three-Point Contest highlighted Saturday’s NBA Development League Dream Factory presented by Haier at Jam Session Center Court at the Orange County Convention Center.
Sioux Falls All-Star Marqus Blakely drilled a half-court shot to give his teammates Jerry Smith (Springfield) and Cameron Jones (Fort Wayne) the Haier Shooting Stars title. The dunk contest was held at halftime of the All-Star Game, while the other two competitions took place following the West’s 135-132 win over the East.
Springfield Armor guard Williams defeated Texas Legends guard Chris Roberts in the final round of the NBA Development League Dream Factory Slam Dunk Contest presented by Haier with a final combined score of 93. Williams’s final dunk, which was reminiscent of Vince Carter’s 2000 NBA Slam Dunk winning attempt, catapulted his fellow D-League players and the convention-center crowd to their feet.
Despite having teammates Jeff Foote, JameSon Curry and Jerry Smith watching from the sidelines, Williams said that even they were unaware of the final dunk that he had tucked away in his back pocket.
"They've never seen the last one before," Williams said. "The other ones they've seen me do in practice. They didn't know I was going to do that last one. Nobody knew."
Williams, who earned a combined 98 from NBA Legend judges A.C. Green, Brian Grant, Eddie Johnson, Otis Birdsong and the NBA TV crew lead by play-by-play analyst Rick Kamla on his two first-round dunks, bested Los Angeles D-Fenders forward Zach Andrews and Bakersfield Jam guard Osiris Eldridge in the first round to face Roberts, who advanced to the finale with a combined 96.
Williams and Roberts each earned a perfect score of 50 with their second dunks, respectively. Williams power-slammed a windmill from the baseline, while Roberts went off the backboard, caught the ball and threw down an impressive reverse slam.
"I didn't practice any of them," Williams said. "Those are just dunks that I know how to do."
Andrews provided levity and excitement to the event in the first round, emerging from off the court for his second dunk in a floral dress, horn-rimmed glasses and hat with a wig. His fellows All-Stars fell to the floor laughing during his cartwheel/round-off gymnastics attempt that could not be completed, but oohed on his toss off the 24-second clock, one-handed catch and slam that left him just short of advancing to the finale.
This is not the first NBA D-League Slam Dunk title for Williams. In a tribute to his then-Springfield coach Dee Brown, Williams executed Brown’s “No See Dee” dunk from the 1991 NBA Slam Dunk Contest to win the crown at the 2011 NBA D-League Showcase.
In the three-point contest, Texas Legends guard Woodfox retained the crown, topping Ahearn, 26-20, in the final round. In this contest, there are five racks with five balls per rack, but the difference from the NBA Saturday Night event is that each participant gets a single rack with five two-point “money balls”.
"We have some of the best shooters," Woodfox said, "so my thoughts coming in were just to make shots."
Ahearn, who had a contest-high 27 with his first attempt, and Woodfox knocked out Iowa’s Moses Ehambe and Rio Grande Valley’s Lee Humphrey in the first round.
"That was unbelievable," Woodfox said. "I didn't think I had a chance to be honest with you, but I ended up pulling it out."
Woodfox won the same event last year at the NBA D-League All-Star Game and also at NBA D-League Showcase in the same season.
Blakely, Smith and Jones won the Haier Shooting Stars contest, defeating Dakota’s Edwin Ubiles, Maine’s Lawrence Hill and Erie’s Keith McLeod by eight seconds in the final round. Teams of three had to complete a series of shots, culminating in a shot from half-court, in the minimum amount of time necessary. Blakely, Smith and Jones finished their series of shots in a minute.