Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan The national High School Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships at Greater Atlanta Christian School in Norcross Friday.
NORCROSS -- Greater Atlanta Christian School has hosted plenty of big events with big crowds since its Long Forum opened up in 2009.
However, it's doubtful the venue has ever had such a charged crowd as the one that packed the facility for the 2013 American Family Insurace High School Slam Dunk and 3-Point Championships on Friday.
"It's a neat experience for our community and our school" GAC athletics director Tim Vick said of the event, which was taped by CBS and will be broadcast today at 2 p.m. "This is a great place to have events like this in. ... We've had a lot of big events here. Athletic-wise, I'd would maybe say (it is one of the biggest events held here)."
The 16 high school seniors from the around the country participating in each contest, which is held in conjunction with the Final Four and related events -- this year, held at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta -- gave the crowd plenty to be excited about.
Even the members of the Spartans' recently-crowned Class AA state championship boys team came away impressed.
"It was crazy," junior forward and Daily Post first-team All-County forward Isaiah Wilkins said. "They jump so high and are so creative."
Indeed, the eight players participating in the dunk contest pulled out all the stops and came up with some very creative dunks.
And it was a metro Atlanta product who stole the show with three of the most creative and acrobatic dunks to win the competition.
Though the smallest player on the court, 5-foot-11 Isaiah Dennis of Class AAAA champion Eagle's Landing High School mesmerized the crowd with all three of his attempts, including leaping high over 6-8 competitor Kuran Iverson and a similarly sized spectator from the crowd before throwing down a thunderous dunk.
It definitely impressed Wilkins, a fairly accomplished dunker himself, as did the whole atmosphere.
"A couple of Isaiah's dunks were crazy," Wilkins said of Dennis' performance.
"It was great. The whole week, (the players) were prepping for (the contest). We didn't know what to expect. We weren't allowed in the gym. So, when we came in here and saw the players in this gym -- this does not look like the gym that we play our games in."
While perhaps not as dynamic, the 3-point shooters also captured the crowd's attention, with Wichita, Kan., native and future Kansas Jayhawk Conner Frankamp winning by being nearly perfect in both rounds with scores of 26 and 25.
Throw in performances by several members of the Harlem Globetrotters and GAC's dance team and it is an event those in attendance won't soon forget.
"To have these kind of kids and these kind of celebrities coming in here, it makes it a nice event," GAC boys basketball coach Eddie Martin said.