Slam dunk event will offer prizes

Basketball fans will get a treat today as Taranaki's best leap at a chance to win the Summer Slam Dunk competition.

This is the first time the competition has taken place and organiser Lionel Haldane, owner of Stirling Sports, is encouraging people to come lower Broughan St in New Plymouth and be part of the atmosphere outside the library.

"We want people to come down, chill out in the sun, listen to music and even give it a go," he said.

The basketball hoop would be shorter than usual at only 8 foot so that everyone had a chance to showcase their skills.

"It's nice and low so people can get their windmills and 360s out and make a spectacle of it," Mr Haldane said.

He said there would also be an early competition for people who wanted to have a go at dunking the hoop but didn't want to enter the main event.

The idea had come to Mr Haldane one day when he was eating his lunch at the recently renovated lower Brougham St.

He pondered how the new space could be used and being a huge basketball fan he eventually came up with the idea for the slam dunk competition.

Mr Haldane said the contest would be modelled on similar competitions like the NBA all star dunking events.

Contending dunkers would begin a series of two minute heats and continue to battle it out until the contest was down to a final five competitors.

There would be a panel of three judges awarding scores score out of 10, and crowd reaction will also be considered.

Mr Haldane said most of the competitors who had pre-registered were high school students but the competition was open to everyone and registration would remain open till 10am.

A prize pool up for grabs included a Spalding basketball system and a pair of basketball boots signed by NBL Breakers player Thomas Iain Abercrombie.

Spectators would also be able to enjoy a BBQ and The Edge radio station would be present to MC the event and give away spot prizes.

The Summer Slam Dunk will start at 10am today beside the library, and will run until about 3.30pm.

Oren Oaariki is a Whitireia journalism school student

Taranaki Daily News