Everyone knows the Rebels run. And that running had led to a lot of fast-break opportunities. And those fast-break opportunities have led to a lot of dunks. But who exactly are the most prestigious dunkers in UNLV’s history? The list might not be as obvious as you think. Limiting the number to sevenmeans no Larry Johnson, no Anderson Hunt, no Keon Clark. Blasphemy, you say? Well, here’s the rundown:
When the 6-foot-5 guard elevated for one of his numerous slams as a Rebel, he soared Jordan-like to the rim with power and grace. And his between-the-legs dunk as a rookie earned him the title at the 1994 NBA SlamDunk Contest.
The 6-foot-8 high-flyer seemed to spend half of his UNLV career playing above the rim. And his 360-degree dunk against Fresno State at the Thomas & Mack Center in 1985 provided a moment that will live forever in the minds of longtime Rebel fans, if not on the Internet.
Few players at any level could dunk in traffic on the fast break like the 6-foot-6 “Plastic Man.” Just his dunks in the 1990 NCAA tournament alone are enough to get him on this list. And during his senior year in 1990-91, he provided Rebel fans with more dunks than two-dozen doughnuts.
The 6-foot-7 forward averaged just 5.4 points per game in his UNLV career, but many of those came on rafter-scraping jams. His amazing leaping ability landed him a spot in the 2002 NCAA slam-dunk contest, and also a job with the Harlem Globetrotters until his death in December 2008 at the age of 28.
If you go to YouTube and type in “Best College Hoops Play Ever,” it will take you to the highlight of the 6-foot-8 Basnight literally soaring over the head of University of Pacific defender James Gleaves on Jan. 30, 1988. Even if that jam were the only basket Basnight ever scored for the Rebels, it would still behard to deny him a spot on this list.
At (a generous) 6 feet 4, Rosegreen is the shortest player on this list, but his 40-inch vertical leap produced some ferocious power slams for the Rebels in the mid-1990s, and also helped him earn a two-year stint playing for the HarlemGlobetrotters. But we’re most impressed by the way he still throws it down with authority each year during the Rebels’ annual Legends Game.
The 6-inch-9 center was the fifth scoring option in the Rebels’ 1990-91 starting lineup, playing alongside Larry Johnson, Stacey Augmon, Greg Anthony and Anderson Hunt. But his explosiveness around the rim produced some of the most memorable and violent dunks of that magical season, and contributed greatly to the Rebels’ intimidating aura.