The Dunk Contest of the Century of the World Actually Happened
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Comedian Ben Larrison wanted to organized an elaborate dunk contest that involved competing against WNBA legend Sheryl Swoopes, dunking over a baby doll, dunking while taking a selfie, dunking with scissors and generally just slam dunking in as many inventive ways as he could think of. Larrison turned to Kickstarter, got Swoopes involved and put on the event. We liked the sound of it, so we asked him to send us a brief rundown of how it went. Spoiler alert: he lost.
For far too long, dunking has been the domain of the tall, the skilled, and the athletically gifted. Shorter-but-willing dunkers like myself were excluded from the joy that comes with soaring through the air and thrown down a sick jam, just because the majority of basketball hoops are an arbitrarily-cruel 10-feel tall. It was, simply put, unfair.
On Wednesday, June 11, I competed against basketball legend Sheryl Swoopes in a slam dunk contest on a Fisher-Price children’s basketball hoop.
The event will forever be known as The Dunk Contest of the Century of the World, and its impact will hopefully resonate throughout the dunking world for weeks—or even months—to come.
The dunking was fierce and inventive, ranging from the innovative (Swoopes taking a mid-dunk selfie, to the absolute delight of the crowd) to the adventurous (me dunking while running with scissors and simultaneously being shot at with Nerf guns by a former U.S. Marine.) In the end, Swoopes—a three-time Olympic gold medalist, three-time WNBA MVP and four-time WNBA champion—was ultimately crowned The Dunk Contest of the Century of the World champion, because obviously. But together, we proved that, just as Kevin Garnett predicted, anything is possible.
Now sure, this epic, five-round, winner-takes-all slam dunk extravaganza between a celebrated, world-renowned athlete and a 5’5” comedian/ridiculous person most likely had no real excuse happening. But somehow, thanks to Kickstarter and some amazingly awesome and generous people, it did, and the result was one of the coolest, craziest, most fun things I have ever experienced. The fact that there is a platform like Kickstarter that allows crazy people like me to pursue ridiculous ideas like this—all for the sake of making the world a little more weird and a little more fun—just makes me unbelievably happy and hopeful and thrilled. So thank you, Kickstarter, and thank you my Kickstarter friends, for being a part of this ridiculous thing.
Ben Larrison is a writer and comedy person living in Chicago.