Robinson III rises to win slam dunk contest as Indiana kids own All-Star Saturday

Glenn Robinson III flashes Indiana after his first dunk.

In 49 states it’s just basketball, but this is Indiana.

That phrase can be heard daily in Indiana because it’s something we, as Hoosiers, take pride in. We know the game; we played the game. And that was on display for the basketball world Saturday evening at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, the site of the NBA’s annual All-Star Weekend.

Five winners are either from the state or they attended a university in Indiana.

Also of note, Gordon Hayward (Brownsburg, Butler University) represented Indy well. He finished second in the Skills Competition.

The featured event was the Slam Dunk contest where Robinson III, who played high school ball at Lake Central in north west Indiana, took home the top prize: bragging rights.

Oh, and $100,000. Not a bad 30 minutes of work.

Even more impressive: He guaranteed victory to two days earlier.

“I’m still ready to go in there and try to win it,” he said confidently. “I’m going to win it.”

Robinson III got off to a great start, leaping over a guy on another man’s shoulders! And he threw it down with his off (left) hand. He knew it was about showmanship, and this was an outstanding opening act — especially because he nailed it on his first attempt.

He deviated from his plan in Round 2 and completed it solo, a 360 dunk and he dabbed as he threw it down with his right hand.

For his third dunk, he mixed up the order again. He would save it for the final round. Robinson III sent Boomer away, then grabbed the ball in Paul George’s hands and put it in. This one took him several times.

Finally, it was Round 4 and he didn’t need a perfect score. 44 points would secure victory.

Glenn brought out George again, along with Boomer — who has been with the organization almost 20 years — and Kayla Vickers of the Pacemates. He practiced this dunk on Friday with the group; George wasn’t there, though. But it didn’t matter.

GRIII again grabbed the ball out of George’s outstretched armed and flushed it down while he hopped over the trio of Pacers representatives.

Perfect 50, again.

Another look:

This was a special evening for Glenn. Perhaps it’ll be his coming out party. He even joked in postgame interviews that the crowd had no idea who he was. But he tried to get them to make noise and feel a part of his dunks.

He becomes the third Pacers player to win the dunk contest, joining Fred Jones (2004) and Paul George (2014). (George’s win was back when they had more contestants and put them on teams. It was as awful as it sounds.)

Pregame, Glenn was well aware that he the underdog and received little attention. He’s used to that. And he had indeed shocked the world.

The Lin-Ning shoes he wore:

[Podcast with GRIII, on being inspired by Brody Stephens]

Afterwards, Robinson III even got a shout-out from Minnesota’s Zach LaVine, the winner in each of the last two years. A torn ACL knee injury kept him out of the competition this year.

Now, Indiana can add to its success Sunday night in the annual All-Star game. George is making his fourth appearance on the East, which is coached by Brad Stevens of the Celtics. Whatever the result, Indiana did extremely well led by Glenn Robinson III’s slam dunk win.

The trophy presentation for Glenn, along with a post-dunk interview:

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