atlanta hawks Microsoft coded dunks challenge Dominique Wilkins
(Atlanta Hawks)

Hawks and Microsoft Announce 2nd Annual 'Coded Dunk Challenge' To Inspire Atlantans to Code

Hawks Legend Dominique Wilkins Surprised Students At Local YMCA As They Learned How to Code Dunks; Fans Can Participate in the Innovative Coding Dunk Competition at

ATLANTA – The Atlanta Hawks and Microsoft today announced the launch of the second annual Coded Dunk Challenge, an innovative coding competition designed to enhance youth’s knowledge of technology, spark their interest in computer science, and introduce them to rewarding career paths and opportunities in STEM fields.

The organizations teamed up with Fair Chance Learning, a company that curates best-in-class educational programs to elevate students’ learning, to provide students ages 11 through 18 an opportunity to create unique on-screen basketball dunks through the use of code. Youth from the state of Georgia are encouraged to participate in the competition. Entries will be accepted through March 18.

As part of the competition, students will produce and submit codes to display their best and most creative Harry the Hawk basketball dunk for a chance to compete in the Coded Dunk Challenge. At the conclusion of the Challenge, the top three finalists will be selected to attend the Hawks’ home game on March 30 and have their coded dunks displayed on the centerhung at State Farm Arena. During the game, the winner will be announced and see their dunk performed live on the court.

“We are excited to work with the Atlanta Hawks once more this year for the Coded Dunk Challenge” said Monica Robbins, the Director of Sports Partnerships at Microsoft. “This event demonstrates how STEM and sports can blend to create fun and engaging experiences for all, with the hope to inspire youth to become the future sports leaders or engineers of tomorrow.”

On Thursday at the YMCA Metro Atlanta Youth & Teen Development Center, the Hawks and Microsoft tipped off the challenge in collaboration with Fair Chance Learning to provide more than 50 middle school students an opportunity to code and create basketball dunks.

A special surprise to the afternoon’s festivities was the appearance of Hawks Legend and Naismith and Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, Dominique Wilkins, who was joined by members of Hawks Entertainment including the ATL Hawks Dancers and the Flight Crew.

“We are excited to collaborate with Microsoft and involve local youth in this interactive and educational event, with the goal of stimulating their interest and participation in the field of technology,” said Hawks’ Vice President of Community Impact and Basketball Programs Jon Babul. “We are committed to providing the Atlanta community with impactful programming and events such as the second annual Coded Dunk Challenge. Our aim is to ensure that local students in the community has access to opportunities that enable them to acquire new skills and continuously develop as learners, setting them up for long-term success.”

With help from Hawks and Microsoft volunteers, the students were organized into groups and guided to different activation stations, where Fair Chance Learning professionals taught them how to utilize coding software to design their own customized dunk. The stations included a plugged area where students participated in a basketball coding activity and an unplugged area where students took part in basketball activities and played games.

In addition, the students participated in a special photo opportunity with Dominque Wilkins and Hawks Entertainment, were given food and refreshments, and received gifts that included a Hawks branded T-shirt, drawstring bag and water bottle.

In April 2022, the Hawks announced a multi-year partnership with Microsoft Corp, including Xbox, that aims to deliver opportunities and resources to underserved areas of Atlanta by leveraging the power of sports, technology, and community programming.

To enter the Atlanta Hawks and Microsoft Coded Dunk Challenge, applicants must be a legal resident of Georgia, be between the ages of 11 and 18, and must obtain permission from a parent or legal guardian prior to entering the contest. Additional information about how to enter and create a dunk code can be found at