Mat Drills – The Dunks

It was after 1AM and the Husky football team had just completed their final mat drill workout of the winter. Now it was time for the main event, the slam-dunk contest, held at Hec-Ed. With the entire team in the bleachers looking on, the contestants came forward one by one, some willingly and some not.

Former Sehome Mariner High School two-sport star Graham Lassee led off the proceedings. Lassee was a great hoop player in his day but that was when he was a 225-pound skinny forward. Now tipping the scales in the 250 range, it was a bit more difficult to get up to jam. He was able to succeed but it took a few tries.

Big Terry Johnson had a nice one-handed jam, taking it from left of the key and finishing to his right. For a 270-pounder, the dunk was excellent. Other big men that were able to get up for the down-stroke included Tui Alailefaleula (one-hand) and Khalif Barnes (2-hands and with authority). Barnes had an impressive one where Cody Pickett fed him the ball off of the backboard and Barnes got his 300-pound frame up in the air, caught the ball, and jammed it home with both hands.

It was then that Kentwood High graduate Will Conwell decided to make his presence known. He took the ball, took off from just in front of the foul stripe, and sent down a thunderous one-handed jam that got the team out of their seats. That dunk stood as the top one for a while.

Two of the funniest moments came when Neuheisel pointed to 5-10 linebacker Joseph Lobendahn. Joe reluctantly came out onto the hardwood and wasn't close on his first dunk. On his second one, he was able to draw iron, as well as the laughs of his teammates. Lobendahn was all smiles. Then Zach Tuiasosopo, slimmed down for his new role at fullback, came out and made several attempts to jam the ball through the rim. After his sixth attempt, Neuheisel shook his head and Tui hit the pine.

Chris Singleton's jam was impressive, and then Rich Alexis came out and showed that he still had some hoops skills. He was not able to complete his double-clutch dunk where he takes the ball down to his waist and then back up before dunking it, but he did have an impressive two-hander from the baseline.

Then it became the Paul Arnold show. His first big dunk came when he pulled off a 180, but he brought the entire house down with his final dunk. He came from midcourt, lobbed the ball high so it would bounce off of the floor at a decent height. Arnold then raced to the ball, caught it on it's way up, and then did a 360 in the air before slamming the ball down with two hands. The place came unglued. It may have been 1:30 in the morning but Arnold's smile would've lit up the entire Montlake community. The dunk was monstrous, and showed that his 40-inch vertical leap is no fluke.

For good measure, Arnold took a pass off of the backboard from Cody Pickett, caught it, then spun and did a reverse jam while facing midcourt.

Conwell was ready to challenge him until that dunk. Arnold won hands down.

Pickett was dying to get out there and jam one but the trainers kept a watchful eye on their prized quarterback to make sure he didn't do anything to hurt his shoulder. Pickett had some fabulous dunks last year, and was the Idaho State High School Player of the Year as a senior at Caldwell High School.

It's a shame that Charles Frederick wasn't here to showcase his dunks but he's in Los Angeles preparing to help Bob Bender's squad take on Oregon tomorrow afternoon.

Good night Husky fans. Time for some sleep now…zzzzzzzzzzz Top Stories