By Chad Waller | NAIA Media Staff
Watch dunks of Jamaal Thomas
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jamaal Thomas of Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) was the winner of the 2nd annual NABC-NAIA Dunk Contest presented by US Bank on Saturday afternoon in Municipal Auditorium. The event was staged in conjunction with the 2015 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship.
Thomas received a perfect score of 78 points in the final round, bringing the energetic crowd to its feet on each occasion as well as the other NAIA All-Stars in attendance when he cleared a person placed just inside the lane. Thomas edged LeShaun Murphy of Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) by one point in the final round. Both dunkers were judged on two dunks to come from a two-minute span in which they had the floor, with each attempt being scored by a panel of four judges on a range from six-to-ten points, resulting in a minimum score of 24 points and a maximum tally of 40 points per dunk.
“I’ve done that (winning dunk) like one other time ever,” said Thomas, who scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds in the Warriors’ opening round loss to Westmont (Calif.). “This was a great experience for me, loved doing this, especially after being a late addition like 12 hours ago. I guess it was just meant to be.”
Thomas was the top scorer in the first round with perfect scores on both of his dunks, while Murphy posted 73 points on his opening two dunks to advance to the final round. The finalists were joined by Jeremy Comer of Presentation (S.D.) and Matt Berg from Briar Cliff (Iowa) in the competition.
All four players were nominated by NAIA Division I and Division II institutions and were required to be a senior in eligibility status. Thomas was added to the competition after Brandon Peters of Talladega (Ala.) opted out due to his team competing in the quarterfinals of the national championship. Berg, Comer and Murphy were all selected by the NABC-NAIA Men’s Basketball All-Star Committee.
80 points: Jamaal Thomas – Lewis- Clark State (Idaho)
73 points: LeShaun Murphy – Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)
72 points: Jeremy Comer – Presentation (S.D.)
70 points: Matt Berg – Briar Cliff (Iowa)
78 points: Jamaal Thomas – Lewis- Clark State (Idaho) – CHAMPION
77 points: LeShaun Murphy – Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)