Dunkmeisters from the gridiron

Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Ben Pollard promised that last Friday's Night of Champions would be fun, and he proved to be a man of his word. <br><br>After watching the lifting and jumping, Tide fans were treated to a dunk contest by several former hoopsters, turned Bama football stars.

(Above left) Juwan Garth slams the ball home with authority.


Sophomore linebacker/defensive end Mark Anderson (6-6, 230) played basketball in high school. Friday night he tried several difficult dunks, including this backwards two-hander.


Senior wideout Dre Fulgham (6-1, 225) was one athlete that came late to football, only joining his high school team after starting out in basketball. He combines power (Fulgham holds the position record of 455 pounds on the bench press) and jumping ability on the gridiron, both of which he displayed on the basketball court last Friday as well.


Want power? Then senior defensive tackle Anthony Bryant's (6-3, 348) your man. Playing for tiny Sunshine High School in Newbern, Alabama, Bryant pretty much did it all athletically, including play center for his prep basketball team. And yes, he was easily successful on his dunk attempts Friday night.


The crowd cheered all the athletes Friday night, but if you had to choose one particular favorite it probably would have been freshman linebacker Juwan Garth (6-3, 204). Shown defying gravity as he prepares for this tomahawk dunk, Garth utilized several athletic dunks to entertain the Night of Champions crowd. Though obviously undersized for the position, Garth played center for Austin High School, leading their basketball team deep into the playoffs.


Most fans might not be aware of it, but senior receiver Zach Fletcher (6-4, 187) actually spent his first post-prep season in junior college as a basketball-only athlete. He then moved on to CCSF (San Francisco) in football and ended up signing with the Tide. But like many current and past Crimson Tide football players (including the Baltimore Ravens' Terry Jones Jr.), Fletcher will probably always list basketball as his first love.



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