ATLANTA – Olivia Nelson-Ododa isn’t concerned with the historical element, as it pertains to her competing in the POWERADE Jam Fest dunk contest Monday night at Morehouse College, and that’s probably a good thing.
In 2004, Candace Parker, now a star with the Los Angeles Sparks, was the first and only female to win the dunk contest at the McDonald’s All American Game.
Tonight (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2), Nelson-Ododa will attempt to be the second.
“I’m feeling pretty good about being in the dunk contest,” said Ododa, a Connecticut signee who will suit up for the East in the McDonald’s All American Game on Wednesday at Phillips Arena. “I know the guys are gonna bring it, but I’ve been practicing so let’s see what happens.”
Nelson-Ododa said she’s got three dunks in her repertoire that she’s planning: A straight-on one hander, a baseline dunk coming through the middle and potentially a reverse dunk.
“Maybe on the reverse,” Nelson-Ododa said with a laugh. “I’ve been working on it and I’m pretty much there. I think if I can pull that one off, I’ll get a strong score.”
It’s worked before; in 2012, Breanna Stewart, now a star with the Seattle Storm, threw down a two-handed dunk off of a lob in the POWERADE Jam Fest dunk contest and received a perfect score of 70, but fell short of taking home the hardware.
It certainly helps that, like Parker and Stewart, Nelson-Ododa checks in at 6-foot-5 and can consistently throw down dunks with ease.
Still, with contenders like Spartanburg Day (S.C.) wing Zion Williamson, a Duke signee, as her competition, calling her feat difficult would be putting it mildly.
“Going against guys like Zion and them is gonna be tough to say the least,” Nelson-Ododa said. “I just want to do my best and make my dunks. I want to put on a good show and we’ll see what happens after that.”
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