HOUSTON – YouTube sensation, Jacob Tucker, 5′ 10″, won the NCAA Dunk Contest.
Tucker staged a grassroots campaign centered around his Youtube video to gain entrance into the contest. But he wowed the crowd and judges with his 50-inch vertical and dunking creativity.
Tucker doesn’t look like a dunker — the 5-foot-10 guard looks more prepared for a lab than a basketball court — but his explosiveness was evident from the beginning.
The senior basketball player has registered more the 2.6 million views on his You Tube video in his success to get into the slam dunk contest. The competition will be on ESPN 2 9-11 p.m. Thursday March 31st.
Tucker, the smallest player in the competition, was the only player to earn a 50 in the first round with a ridiculous through-the-legs dunk off the bounce.
In the final round, Tucker missed two attempts at a through-the-legs 360 dunk. But his back-up plan was good enough for the victory.
Tucker jumped over a ball-boy, who was holding the ball over his head, and threw down an amazing reverse dunk.
It’s unbelievable, just because a lot of these other guys here are D-I players,” Tucker said after the contest. “They’re used to being on the national stage, and this dunk contest, to their schools, didn’t necessarily mean as much. To be able to represent my school on a national stage is a real honor.
Kansas State guard Jacob Pullen, in attendance for the 3-point contest, said he didn’t believe the small guard was the same player he’d seen in the video that was seen by basketball fans everywhere in early March.
To say the Illinois College basketball program is little-known would be an understatement. The Blueboys are members of the Midwest Conference, made up of Division III schools from the area its named after. With an enrollment of 864, Illinois College is about the size of a top classification high school in most states.
Yet there was Tucker, doing exactly what he did in his viral video: Dunking like a madman. Score one for the little guys.
Here’s the original video: