The NBA slam dunk contest takes place on Saturday night in Toronto, and it promises to be a doozy. The participants are Zach LaVine, Aaron Gordon, Andre Drummond and Will Barton, and each of those guys can dazzle a crowd with the best of them.Turns out, all four players were spectacular dunkers at the college level, too. America was introduced to LaVine’s high-wire act at UCLA; Gordon’s other-worldly athleticism at Arizona; Drummond’s ferocious rim-rocking at Connecticut and Barton’s ability to glide through the air at Memphis.
Here are some highlights of the four contestants during their college days:
Zach LaVine, UCLA
LaVine won last year’s dunk contest and will strive to defend his title this season. The bouncy point guard averaged 9.4 points per game in his lone season at UCLA, and he was a highlight reel waiting to happen:
Aaron Gordon, Arizona
Gordon was an all-around force at the college level, as he helped his Arizona squad finish 33-5 in 2013-14. Gordon was a tenacious defender, and his 12.4 points and 8.0 rebounds per night were crucial to the Wildcats’ success.
So were these flushes:
Andre Drummond, Connecticut
It’s not often that you see a physical specimen like Drummond. The center took some time to find his footing at Connecticut, but once he did, he was a posterizing machine.
Drummond begins at the 0:40 mark in the video below:
Will Barton, Memphis
Barton is the most accomplished college player of these four, having averaged 18 points and eight rebounds for Memphis in 2011-12. Stats, highlights and wicked jams in school dunk contests -- Barton did it all as a Tiger: