The Duke basketball program has a rich history of incredible highlights and athletes.
Part of the luxury of having almost every Duke game televised and the amazing resources of Duke Blue Planet is that many of the best moments of the program have been documented and archived in some form or fashion.
Myron Medcalf of ESPN posted a fun article yesterday that looked at his choices for the top dunks in NCAA history, which got me wondering about the best dunks in Duke history.
And with this being the NBA All Star weekend, which features the annual Slam Dunk Contest, this seemed like as good a time as any to put together a list of some of the best dunks from the Blue Devils over the years.
Here are some of the plays that immediately came to mind for me. These are listed in no particular order.
Gerald Henderson vs. Maryland
For a Duke career that was full of unbelievable dunks, this is my favorite of all the Henderson jams. His quickness to the rim always seemed to catch opponents off guard, and you have to love the way he finished the dunk. Something made G angry and he took it out on the rim.
Grant Hill vs. Kansas
If there’s a single play that signified Duke’s arrival as one of the elite programs of college basketball, it might have been this incredible alley-oop dunk by Hill in the 1991 NCAA Championship.
Gene Banks vs. 7’4” Ralph Sampson
This one was well before my time and, as the highlight shows, before the features of modern television broadcasts, but it’s still amazing to see Banks attack the basket over the 7’4” Sampson.
Corey Maggette vs. Florida
I still remember this play and watching from my living room as an impressionable 11-year old. The play by Maggette was ridiculous and the whining by Len Elmore as the analyst is equally ridiculous. Good stuff by Len to criticize Corey for hurting his team in a game Duke went on to win by 30 points.
Grant Hill vs. Marquette
I have no words for this dunk. People don’t realize how incredibly talented Grant Hill was. Unreal. Also, what’s up with the music in that highlight?
Phil Henderson vs. Alonzo Mourning of Georgetown
The 6’4” guard should be intimidated by the one of the best shot blockers in the country in Alonzo Mourning, right? Somebody forgot to tell Henderson, who exploded to the rim and threw the ball down before Mourning knew what had happened.
Dahntay Jones vs. Virginia
I go back-and-forth between this and the Corey Maggette dunk as my personal favorites. Dahntay Jones probably could have been arrested for how badly he abused UVA defender Nick VanderLaan on this play. Also, Brad Daugherty celebrating this dunk with giddiness is one of many reasons he’ll always be my favorite college basketball analyst.
Those are my choices for the best dunks in Duke basketball history. I’m sure I’ve left off a few. What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments section!