Josh Smith Wins Dunk Contest

JOSH SMITH WINS SPRITE RISING
STARS SLAM DUNK TITLE


19-Year-Old Rookie Is Second-Youngest to Take Home the Hardware

DENVER, CO (Feb. 19, 2005) -- Atlanta Hawks swingman Josh Smith recorded perfect 50's on his final three dunks, en route to a memorable victory in the 2005 Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk title on NBA All-Star Saturday in Denver. The rookie from Oak Hill Academy (and Powder Springs' McEachern High School) becomes the third Hawk in club history to win the championship, joining Dominique Wilkins (1985, 1990) and Spud Webb (1986). The Hawks are the only franchise with three different winners since the contest's NBA inception in 1984.

After getting the Pepsi Center crowd's attention with a free-throw line jam for his opening act, Smith leapfrogged a seated Kenyon Martin and thundered home an alley-oop that brought them to their feet. On Smith's first dunk of the final round, he donned a throwback Wilkins jersey and paid tribute to the soaring windmill jam that No. 21 made famous. Smith closed out with a 360-degree reverse spin jam to clinch the trophy, downing Suns star Amare Stoudemire in the final round.

"I really wanted to win this for Dominique, for the Hawks organization and for the city of Atlanta," Smith said. "Kenyon made the perfect pass on the alley-oop dunk, and once I got to the final round, I just tried to feed off the energy of the crowd."

The 19-year-old Smith becomes the second-youngest player to ever take home the dunk title, to Kobe Bryant (18), who took the honors in 1997 in Cleveland.

On Friday, Smith had the opportunity to exhibit his all-around game, as he was a member of the rookie squad that fell to the sophomores, 133-106, in the got milk? Rookie Challenge. He finished the contest with 12 points (4-8 FGs, 4-4 FTs), 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 block in 24 minutes of action. Smith was a first-round pick of the Hawks (17th overall) in the 2004 NBA Draft.

Atlanta Hawks season tickets can be purchased by calling (404) 827-DUNK or by visiting www.hawks.com. The Hawks, a member of the National Basketball Association since 1949, play in the newly-created Southeast Division, along with the Charlotte Bobcats, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards.