Josh Smith Dunk Contest Press Release

Rookie guard/forward adds to his All-Star Weekend schedule of activities

  • Josh Smith's Top Ten Dunks
    Windows (300k) | (80k)
  • Josh Smith Photo Gallery
  • Audio: Josh Smith
  • Dominique Wilkins Audio:
    On the contest | Helping Josh |
    Choosing dunks
  • Sprite Rising Stars Dunk Contest

    ATLANTA, GA (Feb. 16, 2005) -- Having already been selected to play in the 2005 got milk? Rookie Challenge during All-Star Weekend activities next week in Denver, Colorado, Atlanta Hawks guard/forward Josh Smith has also accepted an invitation to bring his high-flying act to the Mile High City to participate in the Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk competition on Saturday, February 19 at the Pepsi Center.

    Smith will compete against fellow first-year player J.R. Smith of New Orleans, the Hornets' Chris Andersen, and center Amare Stoudamire of Phoenix for the right to take home the $25,000 grand prize.

    "I'm truly honored to recognized by the NBA and to represent the Atlanta Hawks in the Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk contest," said Smith. "I hope I can live up to the great legacy that Dominique (Wilkins) established and do the best I possibly can. The competition will be tough, but I would love to win the title and bring some recognition to our organization as we get ready for the second half of the season."

    The 6-9 rookie has impressed followers with his explosive leaping ability, which has seen him lead the Hawks with 67 dunks on the season - 35.3% of the team's total thus far. A subject of frequent "Top 10 Plays of the Night" on ESPN's SportsCenter, Smith becomes the fourth Hawk to participate in the slam dunk contest, and the first since Stacey Augmon made his one and only appearance in 1992. Wilkins, a two-time winner (1985 and 1990), showed off his talents in five competitions, while Anthony "Spud" Webb (the champion over Wilkins in 1986) jammed on three occasions.

    "Josh should be proud of this honor and I'm very excited for him," said Hawks coach Mike Woodson. "Anytime you're rewarded for the things you've done in our league, I think that's wonderful. He will have the support of the organization, his teammates and the Atlanta fans behind him and we wish him the best as he attempts to win the title."

    Smith is averaging 7.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.8 blocks in 23 minutes of action, while hitting 48% of his field goal attempts. Among first-year players he ranks in the top ten in every one of these categories - sixth in scoring, fifth in rebounding, sixth in field goal percentage, eighth in assists and ninth in steals. In addition to leading the Hawks in blocked shots, his 1.8 average is tops among rookie leaders.

    The Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk competition, one feature of NBA All-Star Saturday (along with the Footlocker Three Point Shootout, PlayStation Skills Challenge and the Radio Shack Shooting Stars), will be televised live nationally on TNT in the United States and on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada at 8:00 p.m. ET. Live audio broadcasts are also available on ESPN Radio and on in multiple languages. TNT is the broadcast home of all events surrounding NBA All-Star 2005, including the 54th All-Star Game on Sunday, February 19 at 8:30 ET.

    On Friday, February 18, Smith joins a list of 18 players named to play in the got milk? Rookie Challenge, pitting first year players against second year performers. This is the sixth season under the current rookie/sophomore format and the rookies will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak in the series, as the Sophomores own a 3-2 edge over their younger counterparts.