Elevation friends. It's what brings us the most exciting moment in high school basketball, when a player leaps above, beyond or around any defense in front of him and scores, a momentary embodiment of overcoming obstacles.
Or, in less prosaic terms, a nasty dunk. There's plenty of them being thrown down, and here are some of the best from the past week.
• Jamar Ergas, Montverde (Fla.) Montverde Academy: This isn't the first time that Ergas' athleticism has landed him on Prep Rally, and it almost certainly won't be the last, either. Still, this power slam was one of the better efforts of the week, if not the best. Suffice it to say that the 15-year-old has a bright future ahead of him.
• Devonte' Allen, Ramstein AFB (Germany) Ramstein: What's better than checking out a blue-floored prep court on an air force base in Europe? Checking out said court when it's showcasing a monster athlete like Allen. The American military kid's skills may look a bit raw, but boy he can explode to the hoop.
• Jayson Burke, Mount Desert (Me.) Mount Desert Island: The state of Maine doesn't tend to get a lot of attention when it comes to the nation's top prep highlights, but this play from Jamaican-native Jayson Burke certainly deserves some. Sure, he took off before a defender was in front of him, but by the time Burke was throwing down a man was below him in perfect poster position. Terrific assist pass too, no?
• Obij Aget, La Porte (Ind.) La Lumiere: Aget, a 7-foot New Mexico commit, is often criticized for being a bit raw in the post. Still, one can't find anything wrong with the big man's athleticism, as he showed on this slam.
• Bryan Laws, Las Vegas (Nev.) Cheyenne: Look, the dunk here by Laws, a junior at Cheyenne, is pretty solid, but the special effects circa 1986 are absolutely stupendous. First we get the Batman graphics and then it starts snowing? In Las Vegas? Classic.
• Patrick Holloway, Fairfax (Va.) Paul VI Catholic: When a team beats a top national squad like Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha, it needs its share of help and clutch shots. Paul VI got both of those factors on this final play which sent the Panthers to a memorable win ... and sent Paul VI fans streaming onto the court.
• Nathan Birkedal, Alexander (N.C.) Central: Birkedal got some help from teammate Alek Ayer to set up this fantastic buzzer beater, but the shot was still pretty impressive itself, particularly with the game on the line in ACHS' 60-57 win against Hickory (N.C.).
• Erik Ayers, Allentown (Pa.) William Allen: WAHS stunned Lehigh Valley and crosstown rival Allentown (Pa.) Parkland just seconds after Parkland had seemingly earned an overtime win when Ayers took the ball the length of the court and stroked this game-winning triple with cool confidence.