UPPER MARLBORO – After a great slate of boys’ high school basketball games at Rock Creek Christian Academy in Upper Marlboro, there was an intense three-point shootout and a dunk contest on Dec. 29. Rock Creek Head Coach Christian Cole entered 6-foot-6 forward Ty’Darius Harris into the M&T Bank Slam Dunk Contest at the Governor’s […]
UPPER MARLBORO – After a great slate of boys’ high school basketball games at Rock Creek Christian Academy in Upper Marlboro, there was an intense three-point shootout and a dunk contest on Dec. 29.
Rock Creek Head Coach Christian Cole entered 6-foot-6 forward Ty’Darius Harris into the M&T Bank Slam Dunk Contest at the Governor’s Challenge to compete against a bevy of talented basketball prodigies.
Obadiah Toppin (Mount Zion Prep), A.J. Banks (Mount Zion Prep), Justin Route (Capitol Christian), Shy’Qua Grimes (Legacy) and Jordan Ragland (Linden High School) were the competitors he had to face.
“I was more concerned about staying undefeated in our games than the dunk contest,” Harris said. “Once we won the second game of the day, I was ready to go for the dunk contest that night.”
Each participant was allowed to attempt two dunks per round with 45 seconds of countless attempts. Harris tried a variety of tricky dunks. Harris’ first dunk was one of him posing in the air with the ball behind his head as he dunked it home.
Harris’ second dunk attempt had his teammate Kyle Rose throw the ball off the side of the backboard where he wanted to finish with a windmill dunk.
“The first throw was too hard and the second throw was too high,” Harris said.
Harris missed both dunks, but had 20 seconds remaining. So he tried a “Statue of Liberty” dunk, but his arm hit the rim as the buzzer went off with no time remaining. Fortunately for Harris, everyone else in the round missed their dunks as well.
In the final round, it was Harris against Toppin. Toppin finished his first dunk with a perfect score of 50 after he threw the ball up to himself and then took it between his legs for the finish.
Harris had a conversation with his teammate, sophomore point guard Sherif Kenney, before attempting his final dunk.
“Sherif Kenney told me to jump over Kyle Rose, and then said jump over Jeff Wooten, so I just said I would just jump over the both of them,” Harris said. “I just put them right by the block and just ran to the rim and jumped and made the dunk and won the dunk contest.
“I told everyone that I was going to win and that I was going to bring home a trophy, and that’s what I did. I just went out and displayed my God given athletic ability.”
Harris’ parents did not have a chance to catch his games nor the dunk contest because of work obligations, but said they were ecstatic and excited to hear that their son won the dunk contest, and his team went undefeated.
“All that it took for him to get to this point, he is just a fighter and has persevered from the extreme odds,” said Harris’ mother, Monica Brooks. “Ty loves the game, and his inspiration comes from his humble beginnings and desire to be the best that he can be. We are extremely proud and thankful to our heavenly father for bringing Ty through his test.
“Ty is aware of this opportunity, and he knows that God has bigger plans for his life. He is pleasant and a positive young man. To be where he is today, he is just amazing, and we know that the best has yet to come.”
Aside from Harris winning the dunk contest and bringing home a trophy, the Rock Creek Christian squad also had something else to celebrate as it went undefeated at the Governors Challenge, defeating Legacy from South Carolina, 60-51 and Sidwell Friends out of D.C., 47-38.
Harris averaged 5.5 points-per-game at the challenge and said he was excited to get down there and just be with his teammates and stay undefeated. Rock Creek did just that and are now a No. 3 seed in the Capital Beltway Conference with a record of 11-0.
“I feel like collectively we did great as a team and I did my job on the floor converting in late-game situations,” Harris said.