Video: Hamidou Diallo’s 2016 dunk contest against Zion Williamson
In 2016, the two overwhelming favorites entering next year’s main event at All-Star Saturday – assuming they accept invitations to participate, of course – went head-to-head for aerial supremacy at Under Armour’s Elite 24, an annual showcase of the top high school basketball players in the country. Who emerged victorious between Hamidou Diallo and Zion Williamson? The winner is public knowledge, but watching these all-time high-fliers go at it in the video below is a far more exciting way of finding out than simply being told.
Congratulations, dunk contest fans. You don’t have to wait until next year after all.
One thing to remember about Williamson’s win: It came when the Duke sensation and shoo-in number one overall pick in June’s NBA draft wasn’t even a junior in high school. Diallo, by comparison, was a rising senior at the time the event took place. Just imagine what, after spending almost a full year honing his body for the rigors of the NBA, the 6-foot-7, 285-pound Williamson will be able to do to rims come the 2020 dunk contest.
It would be remiss to count out Diallo after the show he put on Saturday night en route to taking home the dunking crown. Though his final-round effort against the New York Knicks’ Dennis Smith, Jr. was a bit anticlimactic, that has more to do with his first-round performance than any significant letdown. The Oklahoma City Thunder rookie threw down an instant-classic dunk on his second attempt of the night, jumping over Shaquille O’Neal – with a tiny bit of help from the big man’s shoulders – before putting his elbow in the rim, a la Vince Carter.
Will Zion Williamson be able to top that dunk? Let’s hope we get the chance to find out at All-Star 2020, in a rematch four years in the making.