The high fliers of the Culligan City of Palms Classic were out one last time in the John J. Nevins Gymnasium at Bishop Verot on Sunday night.
The Edison National Bank Slam Dunk Contest has tested the dunking ability of the event’s most vertically inclined players since 1992 and the final competition in the John J. Nevins Gymnasium did not disappoint.
On a night in which the Classic picked six judges who have been instrumental in the event’s success at Verot, High Point (N.C.) senior guard Kwe Parker turned in a performance for the ages.
Parker defeated Lonzo Ball of Chino Hills (Ca.) 120-119 in the final round to win the title with an array of dunks that stand amongst the best in the Classic’s 22-year history at Bishop Verot.
The City of Palms Classic will move to Florida SouthWestern’s Suncoast Credit Union Arena in 2016.
“I’m glad I got the opportunity to come out and show everybody what I can do,” Parker said. “I love this feeling and I love the fans.”
Parker opted not to compete in this event during the 2014 Classic because of a finger injury but was fully healthy on Sunday night.
The Tennessee commit earned a perfect 120 in the first round after both of his dunks that counted earned a 60. Parker’s second slam was arguably his best as he threw the ball off the back wall of the John J. Nevins Gymnasium, caught the ball with his left hand in front of the rim and threw it down with authority.
Wesleyan's Kwe Parker (Tennessee commit) with a ridiculous dunk at the #CityofPalms @WCA_Basketball pic.twitter.com/JN8BzEkvmL— ᴊᴀᴋᴇ ᴘᴇʀᴘᴇʀ (@JakePerper) December 21, 2015
Parker used teammate Brandon Childress as a helper on his first dunk of the final round as Childress held the ball over his head for Parker to grab as he jumped over him. Parker grabbed the ball, flew under the rim and threw down a two-handed reverse jam.
6’2 Kwe Parker Wins 2015 City of Palms Dunk Contest – 360 Scoop
He clinched the contest after throwing a pass to himself in front of the rim, putting the ball between his legs and dunking it one-handed.
Having already won the contest with 1:40 left on the clock in the final round, Parker threw down a “scoop” dunk in which he tossed the ball to himself, did a 360 spin and jammed the ball with his right hand. Classic players and fans rushed the floor after that dunk and mobbed Parker, who spent roughly 20-25 minutes after the contest ended signing autographs, taking pictures and granting interviews.
“I was just hoping that I was going to make it,” Parker said of his scoop dunk. “I was saving it for last.”
Ball, a UCLA commit, made things interesting in the final as he executed Parker’s dunk in which he threw it off the wall to earn a perfect 60. His two-dunk score put him at 119 but the night belonged to Parker.
“There’s no secret,” Parker said when asked about his jumping ability. “It just comes natural. Everyone in my family can jump.”
Wesleyan Christian's Kwe Parker (@iJump_tooMuch) is the 2015 #CityofPalmsClassic Slam Dunk Champion! pic.twitter.com/7RJoblYjMG— CityofPalmsClassic (@CityOfPalmsBKB) December 21, 2015
Another nasty dunk from the 2015 #CityofPalmsClassic Slam Dunk Champion @iJump_tooMuch pic.twitter.com/LGIGRACn1m— CityofPalmsClassic (@CityOfPalmsBKB) December 21, 2015
Tennessee commit @iJump_tooMuch has some serious BOUNCE! #CityofPalmsClassic pic.twitter.com/S9P3mQL47U— CityofPalmsClassic (@CityOfPalmsBKB) December 21, 2015