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McDonald’s All-American Game Dunk Contest & 3-Point Shootout Participants



Throughout the years, so many young prospects made it to the NBA after strong performances at the McDonald’s All-American showcases. We are talking about legends like Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Blake Griffin, or even recent stars like Pelicans’ Zion Williamson, who all left the crowd speechless before becoming professionals.

The spotlight shines on the next generation as the Powerade Jam Fest keeps on with it’s exciting competitions this Monday. This is the opportunity to see 2023 McDonald’s All American Games athletes compete in three challenges: Three-point contest, Knock-out and the Slam Dunk Contest.

There is a lot of expectation around some young stars who’ve already been headlining the news due to their young and raw talent for basketball. Of course we are talking about Bronny James, LeBron’s son, who is about to graduate from Sierra Canyon High School and is already eyeing up which college he’ll be representing after this summer.

Another name who’s used to be below the spotlight is Matas Buzelis, the small foward from Hinsdale, Illinois, who is supposed to already be worth more than half a million dollars.

Both of these strong prospects have been announced to be a part of today’s Powerade Jam Fest’s Slam Dunk Contest. Let’s take a look at the list of young stars who are set to dunk in this competition:

1) Elmarko Jackson
2) Mookie Cook
3) Stephon Castle
4) Ron Holland II
5) Matas Buzelis
6) Omaha Biliew
7) Bronny James
8) Jeremy Fears Jr.
9) Sean Stewart

The question on everyone’s mind is, will Bronny become the first player to win this contest after his own father also won it in the past?

However, the excitement over the slam dunk round will have to wait until the end of the night, as the Power Jam Fest usually starts off with the skills knock-out tournament.

In this contest, both boys and girls will participate, so let’s take a look at the competitors selected for this year:

Boys knockout

1) Sean Stewart
2) Elmarko Jackson
3) Aaron Bradshaw
4) Ja’ Kobe Walter
5) Kwame Evans
6) Justin Edwards

Girls knockout

1) Essence Cody
2) Juju Watkins
3) Madison Booker
4) Sofia Bell
5) Ashlynn Shade
6) Riley Nelson

In the 2022’s edition, Indya Nivar won the girl’s competition as she signed for Stanford, and the new Duke player Mark Mitchell won the boy’s knock-out. Just to refresh your memories, let’s take a look at last year’s Powerade Jam Fest which was also held in March in Chicago:

Finally, the famous three-point competition, which proves who’s the most efficient shooter after 25 attempts, five from each angle of the arc.

Last time around, it was Keyonte George won and took the trophy all the way to Baylor University, as he made 12 points after his shooting display.

Boys 3-point

1) Ja’Kobe Walter
2) Andrej Stojakovic
3) Jared McCain
4) Reed Sheppard

Girls 3-point

1) Tessa Johnson
2) Emma Risch
3) Kymora Johnson

It was another new-Duke signature player who proved to be the best young shooter in the girl’s department, as Ashlon Jackson tallied 18 points and beat the second place by eight last year in Illinois.

The Powerade Jam Fest’s competitions will get under way today Monday 27 at 7:30 p.m. ET, on both ESPN2 and the ESPN App.

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Jamal Murray recorded his sixth-straight 25-point game last night




Two seasons ago, Jamal Murray suffered a brutal ACL injury that left him out the entire 2021-22 season. The 26-year-old PG questioned whether or not the team was going to trade him and was experiencing self-doubt. Murray was finally ready to go for the start of this past regular season and has been thriving ever since. Last night he recorded his sixth-straight 25-point game, the third-longest streak in Nuggets postseason history. 

Jamal Murray’s best season average for points in his career was (21.2) in 2020-21 before he suffered the ACL injury. However, his offensive game is taken to another level in the postseason and he lives for the big moments. His previous career best in the postseason was (26.5) in 2019-20.

In the 2023 postseason, Murray is averaging (27.6) points per game. Nikola Jokic and himself have been nearly unstoppable for the Nuggets this postseason. They are now three wins away from winning the franchise’s first NBA title.

Jamal Murray had 26/6/10 last night in Game 1 vs the Miami Heat

The 26-year-old PG shined in his NBA Finals debut last night and the Nuggets looked dominant in Game 1. Nikola Jokic and himself are the first set of teammates to have 25 points and 10 assists in a Finals game since 1987. Magic Johnson and James Worthy were the last set of teammates to accomplish that feat.

Murray also joined Michale Jordan and Russell Westbrook as the only players to post at least 25 points, 10 assists, and five rebounds in an NBA Finals debut. Stat projections give the Nuggets an (83) percent chance to win the Finals after taking Game 1 at home.

At halftime, Murray had 18 points and Miami keyed in on his scoring. That allowed him to become more of a facilitator in the second half. Nikola Jokic had 10 assists and 10 points in the first half, He would score 17 more points in the second half to lead all scorers with 27. Denver looks like a team that is on its way to winning the NBA Finals.

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The Miami Heat attempted just two free throws in Game 1




Coming into Game 1 last night, the Miami Heat had won Game 1 on the road in each of their first three series. That streak came to an end vs the Denver Nuggets who outclassed the Heat from the jump. Both teams did not shoot well from deep last night, but the real disparity was free throws. In Game 1 the Miami Heat attempted just two free throws, the fewest in a playoff game in NBA history. 

None of Miami’s starters took a free throw attempt last night in Game 1. The only player who attempted free throws was Haywood Highsmith off the bench. He did make both of his attempts, but the Nuggets were able to get to the line for 20 attempts as a team.

That is where the Heat lost the game last night. They had too many possessions that came up scoreless and the Nuggets piled on the points all game. Miami will look to have a bounce back in Game 2 on Sunday night.

The Miami Heat need to regroup and be prepared for Game 2 on Sunday night

By halftime of Game 1, the Heat were already down 59-42 and that ballooned to a 83-64 lead by the end of the third quarter. The Heat were winning games in the Conference Finals by getting to the line and making three-pointers. Miami was struggling to do both of those last night.

Gabe Vincent had a nice game for the Heat with 19 points and a 5-10 shooting night from deep. However, Caleb Martin and Max Strus combined to go 1-11 from deep last night. Haywood Highsmith played 23 minutes off the bench last night and had 18 points.

Max Strus went 0-10 from the field last night and scored zero points. He did have 5 rebounds and 3 assists, but the Heat need his three-point production to win games. It was an overall poor performance and the final score doesn’t accurately represent how bad the score disparity was at times.

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Projected No. 1 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft Matas Buzelis signs with G League Ignite – Basketball Insiders




Born in 2004, young Matas Buzelis jumped from being a five-star high school prospect, to participating in the 2023 McDonald’s All-American Game in March, to just recently signing for the NBA G League Ignite, as it has been announced by the team’s General Manager Anthony McClish this Wednesday. 

“It’s a dream come true to join Ignite,” Buzelis said with excitement. “I have the opportunity to develop in a professional system as I continue to strive toward my goal of playing in the NBA. I look forward to joining the team in Henderson and getting to work.

“I want to thank my coaches, trainers and teammates for preparing me for this opportunity. I also want to thank my family for their endless love and support throughout my journey.”

Check out some of the 18-year-old’s highlights in his path to the G League:

The Chicago native, who’s parents both played professional basketball in Lithuania, is projected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft as he was selected to be a part of the World Team for the 2022 Nike Hoop Summit and awarded the Most Valuable Player of the Basketball Without Borders Global Camp this past February.

Back when he was in high school, he played his senior year at Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas, and was crowned the Player of the Year after averaging 15.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks while shooting 43.1% from the deep, and 53.7% from field goal shots.

The rising star guided his squad to the Final Four of GEICO Nationals with a 22-8 record.

Buzelis will be a part of a Ignite’s roster that is star-packed for the 2023/24 campaign, joining prospects like Dink Page, London Johnson, Babacar Sane and Thierry Darlan. The G League team has been a platform that has exported great players into the NBA, like Jalen Green to the Houston Rockets (No. 2 pick in 2021) and Jonathan Kuminga to the Golden State Warriors. (No. 7 pick also in 2021).

The Ignite has been one of the most succesful programs of recent times, as they’ve had a total of six NBA Draft picks in the last couple of years.

Top prospect Ron Holland also announced he will be a part of the G League Ignite next season

The No. 2-ranked senior in the class of 2023 for high school basketball has also shared the news recently that he’s joining the G League Ignite this summer. Ron Holland told the press that it has been quite the journey.

“This process was not easy,” the young talent told ESPN. “At times it was scary because at times I had no idea where I would be.”

However, Holland is now certain he has made the right decision, as the Ignite has proved to be the best trampoline towards professional basketball.

“The G League will help me reach my potential as a basketball player and prepare me for the NBA,” he said. “To have a long career, I need to prepare my body and improve my skills as I continue to try to win games. They have a program to help develop my body and my game.

“I know I have to work on being a more consistent shooter, along with my footwork and ball handling, so I can score in space on the perimeter against a set defender.”

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