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SoCal power forward Ako Kaluna notches season’s first backboard-destroying dunk

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

Ako Kaluna isn't a well known recruit. The Valencia (Calif.) West Ranch High senior signed to play at Northern Arizona, where he will almost certainly make a quick impact inside on the glass.

Yet he may get a lot more attention before that precisely because of what he did to the glass in a recent game. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Daily News and a handful of other sources, Kaluna completely obliterated the backboard on a power dunk in a game against Mision Hills (Calif.) Alemany High, halting the game until officials decided to move the remainder of the contest -- and two subsequent games as part of the annual Santa Monica Tournament -- to an adjacent gym.

"I could feel something crack when I was up there," Kaluna told the Daily News. "It was crazy."

The 6-foot-8, 270-pound senior looks a bit like a Hawaiian mini-Shaq, and he plays like one, too. Despite suffering some small cuts around his wrists from shattered glass that rained down from the broken backboard, Kaluna was completely overwhelming against defending state champ Alemany in a 69-61 upset, scoring 23 points and 21 rebounds. MaxPreps reported that his season averages are now up to 19 points and nearly 15 rebounds per game.

As for West Ranch fans, they can rest easy knowing that the school specifically ordered extra rims this season because of Kaluna. The interior star ripped down a rim as a junior during the 2011-12 season, so they saw this incident coming, even if no one else did.

Well, perhaps not no one else. Kaluna didn't look very surprised himself, did he?

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