The NBA released the first wave of participants in the 2015 NBA Slam Dunk contest, and the group will be featured in the Rising Stars challenge.
Rookie guard Zach LaVine will represent the Timberwolves in the event.
Earlier reports indicated LaVine’s teammate in Minnesota — guard Andrew Wiggins, the first overall selection of the 2014 NBA Draft — but an official announcement with his inclusion hasn’t been made yet.
The format for the contest was changed last year to include two teams, made up of three players from both the Western and Eastern conferences.
The first round featured a “freestyle” round, a 90 second period where all three teammates could throw down as many dunks as they wanted.
Once a winner was determined, then the events shifted to a one-on-one jam session, where a particiapent from each team went head-to-head, with the winner moving on and the loser being eliminated.
The exact format for this year’s even hasn’t been announced, nor has the final list or participants.
What is known is the event will be held Saturday, Feb. 14 in the Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets.
Take a look at the four participants below.
Giannis Antetokounmpo– Milwaukee Bucks
Number of dunks this season: 50
Amazing fact: May become the first 7-foot point guard in NBA history
When the Bucks selected Antetokounmpo with the 15th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, he was a 6-foot-9 forward. During the summer, he grew an additional two inches and is still growing at the age of 20. The forward out of Greece has become an internet sensation and his wiry frame enables him to make plays every other human simply can’t.
Victor Oladipo– Orlando Magic
Number of dunks this season: 22
Amazing fact: Was ranked 144th in his class entering his freshman season at Indiana
Three years after being overlooked coming out of high school, Orlando selected Oladipo with the second overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. The 6-foot-4 guard has evolved his game this season, incorporating a potent 3-point shot and becoming one of the most exciting players in transition.
Zach LaVine– Minnesota Timberwolves
Number of dunks this season: 17
Amazing fact: possesses a 46-inch vertical leap
At the Seattle ProAm this summer, an impromptu dunk contest featured LaVine broke out. Before ever donning an NBA jersey, LaVine became one of the favorites to take over in the dunk contest. On numerous occasions, the former UCLA standout rises to eye level of the rim.
Mason Plumlee– Brooklyn Nets
Number of dunks this season: 77
Amazing fact: Completed a high jump of 6-foot-8 while in high school
Plumlee will have the home court advantage in the contest and no other particpant in the event has thrown down more dunks this season. The 6-foot-10 forward has rocked the rim a total of 195 times during his two-year career and he ranks sixth in total dunks this season.