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NFA’s Very Own All-Star Weekend…In One Night

Aleysha Rivera Bocachica

Aleysha Rivera Bocachica, Staff Writer

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Modeled after the NBA’s All-Star Weekend, contestants were able to partake in various events that test their basketball abilities at NFA’s third annual Slam Jam, sponsored by Norwich’s Philly’s restaurant.

The event featured 4 events: the Shooting Stars event, Skills Competition, Three-point Contest and the main event, The Slam Dunk Contest. The different challenges tested a variety of skills including ball handling, agility, resistance to fatigue, and accuracy.

“We just wanted the kids to come back on a night for some fun times,” said NFA physical education teacher and Slam Jam coordinator, Jeff Brown.  “It is a stress free environment here. The kids seem to bond over basketball, and it is just meant to be a memorable night.”

And memorable it was. The night kicked off with the shooting stars event which required players to shoot a lay up or dunk, shoot a foul shot, and then shoot another lay up or dunk. The skills competition came next, which tested the participants’ agility, accuracy, and range in shot. Contestants had to start at one end of the court, race down to the other end of the court, pass the basketball into a bin, make a lay up, and run back to where they initially started to make a three-pointer.

“This is one of my favorite events,”  commented eleventh grader Guercie Guerrier.  “The crowd is pumped, the energy is palpable, it’s just a fun time at the NFA community.”

Players then had the opportunity to challenge themselves in a 60 second race against the clock to complete as many three-pointers as possible from designated areas along the arc.

“I did not feel any pressure coming back into it,” said returning three-point champion, Osman Guzman.  “I just went out there, kept my cool, kept an eye on the clock, and got the job done for my teammates.”

Finally, the greatly anticipated Slam Dunk event commenced. Contestants had 60 seconds to complete a dunk that would wow the judges, which included Head of School, David Klein; former Slam Dunk champion, Roy Colebut; and senior class officers, Logan Gooden and Justin Francis.

This year’s Slam Dunk competition champion, Jahiem Spruill, said, “I never really knew that I could make a dunk like that…I just started to run, and the next thing I knew I was jumping from the foul line to the rim; it was a great feeling.”

Food, camaraderie, and the love of basketball made for a successful  Philly Slam Jam event.  Brown hopes to “host Slam Jam for its fourth year in a row next year.”

 

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