At the time of this writing, John Collins is the betting favorite to win the 2019 NBA Slam Dunk Contest.
Collins, a power forward out of Wake Forest who was selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the 19th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, told STACK he was out for posters ahead of his rookie season, and he hasn’t disappointed.
“I’m definitely looking to poster anyone I can,” Collins said. “It’s an amazing feeling, man. It hypes up everybody, gets the team going and can definitely change the momentum of a game.”
Since arriving in the NBA, Collins has jammed on a number of unfortunate victims:
Turns out, he’s been doing this for quite a while. True story—Collins once scored 26 points entirely on dunks during a high school game.
“I forget which team we were playing, but I had 26 points—all dunks—and like 15 rebounds. There was a guy in the crowd chanting, ‘He can’t do anything else but dunk! Make him do something else but dunk!’ My goal that whole game was to dunk everything. I was like, ‘Man, I haven’t done anything skill wise. I haven’t shot the ball once. I think I can do this at the next level when I can make myself do one thing the whole game and they can’t stop it.’ That was definitely a turning point for me to be like, ‘Man, I think I can do this,’” Collins said. And that’s despite the fact he wasn’t able to dunk until his sophomore year!
But Collins is far from just a dunker—the 21-year-old is currently averaging 19.6 points and 10.0 rebounds per game.
Read our full interview with Collins here.
Photo Credit: Scott Cunningham/Getty Images