The American Family Insurance High School Slam & 3-Point Championships are going big this year. Really big.
Legendary former NBA center Shaquille O’Neal will be among a star-studded panel of judges for the slam dunk contest Friday in Pearland, Texas. O’Neal, a four-time NBA champion and 15-time All-Star, remains close to the high school game through his son, Shareef, a 6-7 sophomore power forward at the Windward School in Los Angeles. Shareef is considered among the top 10 players in California in his class.
Shaq will be joined at the sixth annual event by Michigan State All-American Denzel Valentine and NFL defensive end Devon Still, who recently signed with the Houston Texans, and American Family Insurance Chief Financial Officer Dan Kelly.
Valentine is coming off a senior year in which he was the only player in NCAA history to average 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in a season (the assist became an official state in 1983-84).
Still spent the last three seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals before signing with the Texans in free agency. His young daughter Leah’s battle with Neuroblastoma stage 4 cancer has inspired millions. Still announced in November that Leah’s cancer was in remission.
The slam dunk contest features eight of the nation’s best dunkers, including Cheshire (Conn.) Academy point guard Elijah Pemberton, winner of the #DreamFearlessy Fan Vote. The event includes two three-point contests — one for the top eight boys and one for the top eight girls.
Friday’s event will be taped for broadcast on CBS and will air at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.