HOUSTON - UNC Asheville senior forward John Williams advanced to the finals of the Denny's Slam-Dunk contest before being edged out by crowd favorite and You-Tube sensation Jacob Tucker of Illinois College. The contest was held at the Hofheinz Pavilion on the campus of the University of Houston Thursday night that was televised on nationally by ESPN2.
Williams was a perfect 4-for-4 in his dunks and put on an impressive display of dunks throughout the evening. His second dunk that put him into the semifinals saw him have two players get on two separate ladders and hold a lighted candle. Williams dunked and blew the candle out.
For his third dunk in the semifinals, the Raleigh native jumped over 6-9 Memphis' Will Coleman and slammed home a reverse dunk. He easily cleared Coleman and received a perfect 50 score from the five judges.
Williams then met Tucker in the finals. John went first and performed a perfect dunk where he attacked the rim and his elbow hung on the rim. He received a score of 46 from the judges that included former NBA All-Stars Calvin Murphy and Karl Malone.
Tucker, the crowd favorite, missed his first two dunks in the finals but was able to get a dunk down and won the title with a score of 49.
"This was a great experience and something I'll never forget," stated Williams. "Being around all these players and being at the Final Four has been an incredible experience.
"I felt really good about my dunks but the judges liked Jacob a little more," added Williams. "The thing I'm most proud of is that I got to wear the Bulldog uniform one more time and represent UNC Asheville at this prestigious event."