Derrick Williams to Participate in 2012 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest <br> As Part Of All-Star Saturday Night

Minnesota Timberwolves rookie forward Derrick Williams, who was selected to play in the 2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge next weekend, will represent the Wolves in the 2012 Sprite Slam Dunk contest the league announced today. Williams will dunk against Chase Budinger of the Houston Rockets, Indiana's Paul George and the Knicks' Iman Shumpert. The 2012 Sprite Slam Dunk in Orlando will feature a series of firsts, including four first-time participants, a new single-round format in which the winner will be chosen solely by fan vote, and the introduction of fan voting via Twitter.

Williams, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, is averaging 7.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 18.6 minutes in 30 games, four starts. He has scored in double figures 11 times in his rookie year and has registered eight games of 10+ points and 6+ rebounds.

Williams is third on the Wolves with 19 dunks this year, including a left-handed jam over Charlotte's DJ White last night that was highlighted as the No. 1 play on's Top 10 Plays. Williams has teamed up with fellow rookie Ricky Rubio for a number of spectacular alley-oops this seasons which have been regularly featured on ESPN's Sportscenter and's Top 10 Plays.

As a rookie, Isaiah Rider won the 1994 Slam Dunk Contest at Target Center with a between-the-legs jam, which he titled the "East Bay Funk Dunk." Other Timberwolves to participate in past Slam Dunk Contests include Gerald Green (2008), Chris Carr (1997) and Doug West (1992). Rider also participated in the 1995 Slam Dunk Contest.

Highlights of the four participants in this year’s Sprite Slam Dunk may be viewed by clicking on the links below:

Paul George

Derrick Williams

Iman Shumpert

Chase Budinger

A new format will be implemented for the 2012 competition. The contest will consist of only one round and each competitor will execute three dunks. Fan voting will open after all four players have completed their first dunk. Previously, the Sprite Slam Dunk contest consisted of two rounds, with the first round scored by a panel of judges which determined two finalists.

For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter.