Auburn's Kenny Gabriel runner-up in Final Four slam dunk competition
NEW ORLEANS – Auburn senior
forward Kenny Gabriel finished as the runner-up in the slam dunk portion of the
State Farm College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships on Thursday in
Tulane's Fogelman Arena on ESPN prior to the Final Four in New Orleans.
Martin Methodist's James
Justice, a 5-foot-10 guard with a 52-inch vertical jumped, edged out Gabriel in
the final round with a bounce through the legs one-handed left-handed slam.
Gabriel's final dunk was a
high bounce and one-handed slam after his best dunk of the night, a 360 slam
dunk off a through the legs pass off the backboard from Missouri's Marcus
"It has been real fun and
was a great atmosphere," said Gabriel. "It feels great compete and represent
Auburn in this way. I was just trying to be creative and get the crowd involved
in it. It made me feel good with all of the Auburn fans here. War Eagle baby."
Gabriel advanced to the semifinals with a perfect score of 40 as half the
eight-man field was cut after first round. Gabriel's one-handed windmill slam
on a pass off the backboard from Denmon brought a standing ovation from the
sold out crowd of 3,300 and chants of "KG" from the PA announcer.
In the semifinals, Gabriel used ESPN announcer Jimmy Dykes' alley-oop pass for
a slam dunk over the Denny's advertisement on the court in the three second
lane. The judges awarded Gabriel a 35 amid a lot of "War Eagle" from Auburn
fans in attendance, including Auburn coach Tony Barbee and his coaching staff
and their families.
Gabriel averaged 12.2 points per game this season for the Tigers along with 7.3
rebounds and 2.3 blocks as he was named Auburn's MVP. He ranks second in the
SEC in blocks and eighth in rebounding.
Thursday, May 23 2013 12:34 AM EDT2013-05-23 04:34:50 GMT
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