The best part of the Arizona Wildcats’ Red-Blue Game on Saturday might be the dunk contest.
These can sometimes get long and repetitive, but this shapes up as a can’t-miss event.
Sophomore Gabe York will take on freshman phenom Aaron Gordon and springy brothers Nick Johnson and Chris Johnson, sons of former hoopster Jumpin’ Joey Johnson, who had a legendary 52-inch vertical jump in his day.
Gordon has to be the favorite, right? Size, power, athleticism. Check, check, check. Take a look at the video below from the dunk contest at the McDonald’s All-American Game, starting at about the 30-second mark. His dunks are all potential winners.
“He’s a great athletic dunker,” York said, not conceding anything. “I have some tricks up my sleeve. Some brand-new stuff.”
York, a 6-foot-2 guard, won last season with a soaring dunk over 6-9 Angelo Chol and 6-10 Matt Korcheck to earn a perfect score from five judges from the 1988 Final Four team. The 1994 team will be honored this Saturday and will make up the judging panel.
Nick Johnson has one of the best vertical jumps in basketball. The UA tweeted last month that he tested with a 47-inch vertical jump (on a running start) and a 38-inch no-step vertical.
Gordon was second in both areas (43 inches, 34.5). York reached 42.5 inches on his running vertical; Chris Johnson, a walk-on added to the team this season, was third in the no-step vertical at 34 inches.
The Red-Blue Game begins at 3 p.m. from McKale Center. It is sold out but will be streamed live at pac-12.com.
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I’m a fan of this York dunk from high school:
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Here is Gordon; his dunks start at about the 30-second mark (Arizona freshman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson follows him in the video:
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Nick Johnson was pretty good at last year’s Red-Blue dunk contest: