It’s no secret that 6’6 small forward Derrick Jones, a consensus Top 50 high school recruit in the 2015 Class, is regarded as arguably the nation’s most athletic player as he heads off to the UNLV Rebels next season.
During his high school career at Archbishop Carroll in Radnor, Pa(a suburb of Philadelphia), Jones made a name for himself for his highlight reel dunks as well as a skill set that could make him a star on the collegiate level as a freshman.
Jones has entered rare air as a ferocious dunker, those perhaps only previously achieved by high flyers like Vince Carter and Kobe Bryant as a high school player, as he continues to destroy the competition when it comes to winning some of the nation’s most prestigious dunk contests.
Earlier this calendar year, he really made a name for himself by literally defying gravity to win the City of Palms Dunk Contest, where he was so amazing, many thought Jones would have been a worthy competitor in the NBA Dunk Contest.
He then put on a show in a Pennsylvania State Playoff Game in March, going for 26 points and 14 rebounds, that were filled with a plethora of rim rattling dunks and above the rim blocks, further adding more substance to his legendary athleticism.
Then just one month ago, he easily eviscerated some stiff competition at the American Family National HS Dunk Contest, destroying fellow high flyers like Prince Ali, Rayjon Tucker, Donovan Mitchell, Rex Pflueger, and more. Jones advanced with some amazing reverse 360 and double pump jams before unbelievably leaping over 4 players to win the title.
But the best was yet to come in this past weekend’s Ball Is Life Dunk Contest as Jones apparently had a chip on his shoulder for inexplicably being snubbed from the 2015 McDonald’s All American Game. In a contest judged by future NBA stars like Stanley Johnson and Kelly Oubre, Jones once again destroyed the competition, taking home the 2015 dunk crown with a vicious between the legs Eastbay.
Could he follow in the footsteps of last year’s winner Zach LaVine and one day be an NBA Dunk Contest champion?
Allen Moll has been a lifelong NBA and NCAA College Basketball fan who watches and studies games religiously, and coaches youth basketball in his native Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. Allen has also provided content to Bleacherreport.com, Upperdeckblog.com, Cleveland.com, CSN Philly.com, Buckets Magazine, Balltribe.com, in addition to being a tenured NBA and NCAA columnist for TheHoopDoctors.com.