Aaron Gordon’s international dunkfest finished on Sunday with his best throw-down of the FIBA U19 World Championships.
Do yourself a favor and pause at the 27-second mark to truly appreciate the freakishness of that dunk.
Gordon was a one-man highlight machine during the United States’ steamroll through the tournament, which ended on Sunday with an 82-68 win over Serbia in the gold-medal game.
He had that alley-oop, which he made look way too easy. He had this one against Canada, catching a pass that would have been too high for most and nonchalantly dropping it in over his head. Like your highlight dunks with more power? This oop against Lithuania in the semis should suffice. Or how about some flash from Gordon below the rim? This behind-the-back pass to Montrezl Harrell in the semis was nice.
A look at the numbers would tell you Gordon was the best player on the U.S. roster. He averaged a team-best 12.6 points and 6.2 rebounds in only 18.8 minutes per game.
In reality, Gordon played the role of an energy guy at the four spot for the Americans, and he benefited from out-of-hand blowouts and a lot of opportunities to finish around the rim.
This should be a lesson to the future Arizona Wildcat. Gordon has said he can be a more complete player than Blake Griffin (via Sporting News), who he is often compared to. And that is true. Gordon, at his age, appears to have a more well-rounded skill set than Griffin. But he should embrace what he was in Prague—a finisher who benefited from spending a majority of his time around the rim.
If Gordon does that, he’s going to have plenty of opportunities to impress NBA general managers with his athleticism and effort. He’s also going to challenge Andrew Wiggins for the best dunker in college basketball.