CHICAGO—McDonald's All-American Shabazz Muhammad can sure put on a show, as the nation's top recruit powered his way to the Powerade Jam Fest dunk championship.
Muhammad won the competition with all perfect scores, including an amazing off-the-right-side-of-the-backboard pass that resulted in a thunderous right-handed tomahawk slam that made the sold-out University of Chicago crowd erupt in cheers.
Highlights to the dunk competition can be seen here.
"I was going to behind-the-back dunk, but Archie (Goodwin) did it," Muhammad said. "He did a good job with it. I had that dunk in the back of my mind. I was pretty excited to get it down."
Muhammad was asked by the media what it meant to him that he won the same competition that NBA greats like LeBron James, Vince Carter and Carmelo Anthony won.
"That's an honor," said Muhammad, who is from Bishop Gorman (Nevada). "Watching Vince Carter back in when he won the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk competition, or seeing LeBron right now and how high he gets above the rim, it's really an honor. I'm glad I could showcase my skills to others."
The 6'6", 215-pound Muhammad attributes his explosive hops to his personal trainer, who has him do squats every day to strengthen his legs.
Besides the uncommitted Muhammad, other top McDonald's All-Americans were fighting for the dunk championship in really sick camouflage jerseys.
They were Cameron Ridley (Texas), Anthony Bennett (Undecided), Alex Poythress (Kentucky) Archie Goodwin (Kentucky), Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State), Breanna Stewart (Connecticut), Brittney Sykes (Syracuse) and Alexis Prince (Baylor).
The All-Americans had to make two dunks within 45-second time periods in order to get points from a panel of seven judges. The panel, which included Chicago Bears greats Dan Hampton and Otis Wilson, would hold up a sign with the point amount and they would be collectively tallied with 70 the highest mark.
If a dunk wasn't completed within the time frame, the contestant would get zero.
In the first round, Ridley did a double-clutch dunk on his fifth try and then accomplished another double-clutch on a high bounce pass to himself for 104 collective points.
Goodwin made a high bounce pass and a double-clutch, one-handed slam. The Kentucky recruit then powered his way through the left baseline and completed a between-the-legs right-handed slam that got the crowd rocking for 130 collective points.
The ladies then had a turn as Skyes (5'9") and Prince (6'2") tried doing alley-oop slams. They would both get above the rim, but they couldn't finish.
However, Stewart (6'3") scored two perfect dunks. She made the two-handed alley-oop for her first and then made a right-hand slam alley-oop on her second.
Smart, who was busting out some nifty crunking moves before he dunked, jammed a killer two-handed reverse dunk for 68 points. He tried doing a between-the-legs, alley-oop slam on his second try, but he failed to finish.
Muhammad had an off-the-glass, alley-oop double-clutch jam with one hand. Next, he did a one-handed reverse dunk on a bounce pass.
Bennett did a driving reverse jam off a bounce pass, followed by an awesome 270-degree dunk off the baseline for 125 points.
Poythress did a one-handed tomahawk slam that rocked the crowd. He only managed a two-handed throwdown for a collective 115 points.
The finalists were then Stewart, Muhammad, Goodwin and Bennett.
Bennett attempted a bounce pass/between-the-legs/one-handed dunk that he couldn't complete. His second jam was a right baseline-drive, double-clutch right-handed dunk for 65 points.
Goodwin did a behind-the-back, right-handed slam and a reverse helicopter right-handed throwdown for 138 points.
Stewart couldn't make an off-the-backboard, one-handed alley-oop slam.
Muhammad opened up his finals round with an off-the-backboard alley-oop over a teammate. He rocked the hoop while at the same time rocking the crowd.