Nearly every year, a host of holiday tournaments feature an astonishing assortment of great high school dunks and buzzer beaters. The 2011-12 festive season was no different, with some of those great slams just emerging on the internet in recent days, as you can see below.
• Wally Ellenson, Rice Lake (Wis.): Looking for a top notch, athletic senior dunker who might have slipped below your radar? Look no futher than Minnesota signee Wally Ellenson of Rice Lake High, who pulled off this 360 jam in a game after terrific anticipation gave him an easy steal. Now those are some hops ...
• Drew Henry, Middleburg (Va.) Academy: There are power slams, and then there are dunks with the force of this one thrown down by Henry in a Virginia face off against Dumfries (Va.) Pope John Paul the Great. Henry threw down this slam with such force, it was almost a wonder that he stayed in the gym at all.
• Elijah Alston, Albany (N.Y.): Alston shares the last name of a famous And-1 Mixtape baller, so perhaps it shouldn't be surprising that he attacks the rim relentlessly. He also makes sure to finish anything he starts, like the dunk in this highlight reel where he throws down a flush over three different Troy (N.Y.) High opponents.
• Tony Parker, Miller Grove (Ga.): Wondering why Tony Parker is one of the top center prospects in the current senior class, with the likes of Kansas, Ohio State, UCLA, Georgetown and just about every other major college program chasing his signature? There are plenty of reasons, but none may be as compelling as the strength he shows in finishing this dunk among the trees in a huge, nationally televised showdown with Chicago (Ill.) Simeon at the 2011 Cancer Research Classic earlier this winter. It's hard not to scream like an animal when watching that slam, isn't it?
• Ishmail Wainright, Montrose (Md.) Christian vs. Annandale (Md.): Wainright is one of the top-50 ranked juniors in the country according to Rivals.com, so perhaps it shouldn't be surprising when he pulls off incredibly athletic and self-aware plays. Still, this steal and Kobe-style turnaround at the buzzer was awfully impressive in helping lead national power Montrose (Md.) Christian School to an overpowering 77-24 victory against Annandale (Md.) High.
• Darrion Martin, Houston (Texas) Yates and Alex Sattley, Portland (Ore.) Lincoln: The annual Les Schwab Invitational basketball tournament between Christmas and New Year's is always one of the top holiday hoops events in the country. The 2011-12 edition lived up to those lofty expectations, with a slam dunk contest face off between Martin of Texas power Yates and hometown hero Sattley proving to be just one of the event's major highlights.
- Sports & Recreation