ESPN will recognize the 70th anniversary of the first season the slam dunk shot was used in men’s college basketball with the cross-platform “For Love of the Dunk” initiative Thursday, Feb. 12, to Sunday, Feb. 15. Bob Kurland, a 7-foot center at Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State), is widely recognized as the father of the dunk in college basketball, using the high-percentage shot in a game for the first time against Temple on December 16, 1944.
ESPN.com will launch the For Love of the Dunk multimedia initiative – occurring around the NBA slam dunk contest and Valentine’s Day holiday – on Thursday, Feb. 12, with a story and video of the top 10 dunks all-time in college basketball. Additional highlights:
- College GameDay Covered by State Farm on Saturday, Feb. 14, will include a feature on standout Wyoming forward Larry Nance, Jr. The Mountain West Conference Preseason Player of the Year, whose father is a 13-year NBA veteran and winner of the first NBA slam dunk contest in 1984, is the Cowboys’ leading scorer. The program, originating from the campus of SMU this Saturday, will include a discussion on the best dunker in college basketball today.
- Men’s and women’s game telecasts across every ESPN platform from Friday, Feb. 13, to Sunday, Feb. 15, will feature For Love of the Dunk content, including highlights, discussion and more.
- Multiple ESPN social platforms will generate fan engagement and debate with the hashtag #Forloveofthedunk. In addition, fans will have an opportunity to vote for the top four dunks of the season from the #SCtop10 list, with the results unveiled on ESPN’s telecast of Connecticut at SMU on Saturday, Feb. 14, at 9 p.m.