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Deron Washington Needs Your Dunking Help

Deron Washington, who says he can't palm a basketball, is looking for your help. (Jonathan Newton - TWP)

As we approach America's greatest sporting event, I hope to increasingly pressure my college basketball-covering colleagues to submit Bog items from their various outposts. Today's entry comes from Adam Kilgore, faithful scribe of almost-in-the-tourney Virginia Tech, who recently had an interesting conversation with Deron Washington. Someone get this think linked on Tech Sideline, so Kilgore can present some valuable comments to Deron.

During a chat with Deron Washington for this dunking story, he dropped a juicy and wholly unsurprising piece of news: He'll be competing in the college slam dunk contest during Final Four weekend in San Antonio. Coach Seth Greenberg got a call from whomever the person is that calls the participants about two weeks ago, and he passed word along to Washington.

"I've been thinking about some dunks ever since then," Washington said. "I have a couple of dunks, but I don't know how good they're going to be. I'm working on some."

As of now, Washington has only two dunks prepared. His crown jewel is a dunk where he does a 360 while putting the ball between his legs, a preview of which can be seen below.

For his other dunk, not captured on video at the moment, he jumps, holds the ball on the nape of his neck, then tomahawks with two hands.

Other than that, he's still tinkering. He has an old dunk he used to do where he turns sideways in the air, touches the ball to his foot and slams with two hands. One problem: He tried it the other day after a shootaround, and even after he stretched, he found his flexibility wasn't what it once was. Also, "I could jump higher in high school," he said. Which I find to be truly unbelievable.

As he's coming up with ideas, Washington faces a shocking degree of difficulty: He cannot palm a basketball. Again, the most well-known dunker in college basketball is not able to hold a basketball with one hand. Can you believe that?

"I'm open for some ideas," Washington said. "I need some."

Which is where you, faithful Bog readers, come in. Post your ideas in the comments, and we'll make sure they get passed along to Washington. I had this idea about 30 minutes ago, so there's no prize or anything yet. I'll talk to Washington--who will learn about this contest when I tell him or if by chance he reads this--and see if he has any ideas about that.

(Ed. note: Kilgore, remember, he IS saving his shaved-off hair in a plastic bag somewhere.)

One more thing: I asked Deron if he had ever been too San Antonio before; he had not. I informed him one highlight would be the endless rows of top-notch Mexican restaurants.

"Me and Mexican don't mix too much," Washington said. "I'll eat it, but the next day isn't gonna be too nice."

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 5, 2008; 11:44 AM ET
Categories:  College Basketball  
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I've always wanted to see him in a dunk contest if it doesn't conflict with any games. He's a great in-game dunker. I'm pretty sure other players on the team could jump higher, but his quickness and explosiveness off the ground are ridiculous. He had a couple of highlight reel dunks last night to complete his career in Cassell Coliseum. On the dunk that got him another Top Play on the four-letter network(third or fourth #1 this season), it seemed like he leaped into the air and then jets came on and propelled him some more. I have no suggestions, but I hope he can make something that works in competition. Didn't he want to dunk on Greg Oden?

Posted by: sitruc | March 5, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Who needs palming when you could just teabag Paulus?

Posted by: | March 5, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I could jump higher in high school compared to college as well.

Let's see:

540 (if he can)

This speculation is pretty difficult, knowing he can't palm. I would suggest trying a dunk to highlight jumping height.

Posted by: B.A. | March 5, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Precisely. In the contest he needs to use Paulus as a prop, or have someone stand underneath him with a cheap paper Paulus mask on, and simply teabag him. That's pretty much the best dunk of all time.

Posted by: Scroot | March 5, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

My first dunk suggestion is a two handed reverse jam where you put the ball down to your knees first, then power it home backwards.

My second suggestion would be to get Paulus to actually come out and let him recreate the "teabag" moment, but with a dunk rather than a layup.

Next would be to bring out something to jump a car. (see link)

Next would be to work on your 720 (see link)

Of course, it is most important to finish the season strong. Go Hokies!!

Posted by: Phil | March 5, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Can Mr. Washington do a cartwheel? There are a variety of dunks I've seen where the ball is placed on the floor, the player does a cartwheel, grabs the ball off the floor on the way up and dunks it or the player does the cartwheel with the ball in hand. I have even seen a player do a cartwheel before progressing into a through the legs/Rider dunk.

Posted by: johnja | March 5, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

For the lurking Hokies or those who may know, who was in the contest a few years ago? I thought it was Matthews, but I don't remember it that well or what year it was. I know Zabe and Gordon were on the team, but I can't remember if the team leader was Dixon or Matthews at the time.

I'm more afraid of the fact that Deron was more flexible in high school. We saw him go into a split last week...

Posted by: sitruc | March 5, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

It was Matthews in the dunk contest 4 seasons ago - last year in the big east

Posted by: Hokies | March 5, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Deron has great ups. I wonder if he could rest a Hershey bar or something on the rim, jump up, grab w/ his teeth as he goes by, and then dunk?

Posted by: Patrick | March 5, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I agree with johnja...Always thought incorporating a cartwheel into a dunk while palming the ball would be a nice change...Maybe Deron can look into trying something like that...

Posted by: Tony | March 5, 2008 5:59 PM | Report abuse

i'd like to see a windmill! and he jumps from around the free-throw line or a little bit close!?

Posted by: Brandon | March 5, 2008 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Ace Custis > Deron Washington

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | March 6, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

No idea if this is even possible, but I've always wanted to see someone take flight on one side of the rim (just as they enter the paint, perhaps), bounce the ball off the backboard, catch it on the other side of the rim, and then jam it home. In other words, bounce it off the backboard but the player would be in the air the whole time.

Or get a cardboard cutout of Paulus and dunk over it. You can add horns to his head to up the difficulty level.

Posted by: Adam | March 6, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

If he can't palm the ball, get some of that sticky stuff Belitnikoff used to catch balls. He didn't even have to grip it, the ball just stuck to his hand:)
Go Hokies

Posted by: Tony | March 18, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Deron is awesome!!! He may not be the best player overall, but he brings it every game, plays with passion, and can dunk like no one's business!

Here's a suggestion:

Take off from the top of the key (if possible), take the ball around your waist, rotate in the other direction and do a reverse dunk.

I think the combo of the body and ball spinning in opposite directions would be great.

-- Go Hokies!!

Posted by: Paul | March 18, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

We are so proud of you! Being in the Slam Dunk is a wonderful way to end your run at VT! We know you'll make all of your Hokie fans proud!! Thanks for all the excitement you've brought to the Cassell the last four years. We'll miss you but will be watching you in the NBA! Your "biggest little fan" will be watching you next week! Go Deron!!!

Posted by: robyn | March 28, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse a 180 and bring the ball around your back and dunk they do on nba live

Posted by: blake | March 29, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

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