With or without LeBron James, USA Basketball has a great number of NBA stars at its disposal. Yet, at Thursday's USA Basketball Showcase in Las Vegas, the biggest highlight didn't come from a group of young players that included Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis, and Paul George. Instead, it came from United States soldier Nathaniel Mills.
At one of the scrimmage's TV breaks, Mills came onto the court in full uniform — camo, combat boots, etc. — and pulled off a one-handed windmill dunk. It's a move we're used to seeing from someone in a dunk contest, not from a member of the United States Armed Forces. Check out the video above from our friends at the Yahoo! Sports Minute.
This moment is cool chiefly because it comes from someone who's devoted himself to public service, but we shouldn't look past the athleticism on display. While Mills didn't get up as high as we're used to seeing from a professional basketball player, it's important to remember that he's doing all this in boots, the sort of footwear we don't commonly associate with an NBA-level vertical leap. It's possible he's actually a better leaper than many pros. Former Air Force staff sergeant and recently waived big man Bernard James might have some company soon enough.
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- Sports & Recreation
- USA Basketball
- Kyrie Irving
- United States Armed Forces
- Paul George