By: Andrew Gavin (@GBGavin)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – The Green Bay men’s basketball team entertained the crowd at the Green & White Scrimmage in a variety of ways on Saturday night, with a competitive scrimmage, high-flying dunks, a 7-foot-1 center winning the three-point contest and a celebrity group of judges. But in the end, most people walked away talking about Keifer Sykes, the 5-foot-11 point guard who stole the show with a pair of highlight reel dunks.
The night started with two short scrimmages. In the first eight-minute scrimmage, Sykes scored the White team’s first 10 points and junior Alfonzo McKinnie (Chicago, Ill.) scored the white’s next five points. However, senior Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) scored seven points and grabbed five rebounds, and his free throw in the sudden death overtime gave Green a 16-15 victory.
In the second scrimmage, with six minutes on the clock, head coach Brian Wardle pitted his veterans against the team’s newcomers. The veterans, wearing white, jumped out to a quick 12-4 lead thanks to two dunks from junior Greg Mays (Chicago, Ill.) and one each from Sykes and McKinnie. Playing for Green, senior newcomer Vince Garrett (Chicago, Ill.) tried to rally his squad, knocking down two three-pointers and converting a putback dunk. In the end, Mays scored six points and the veterans held on for a 14-11 win.
The slam dunk contest followed with Sykes, Garrett, Mays, McKinnie and freshman Tevin Findlay (Malton, Ontario) making up the field. The five celebrity judges included Green Bay Packers defensive back Tramon Williams, Packers assistant director of pro personnel Tim Terry, women’s basketball senior Megan Lukan (Barrie, Ontario), men’s soccer senior Sam Krenzien (Wauwautosa, Wis.) and head volleyball coach Michaela Franklin.
For his first dunk, Sykes jumped over a young Phoenix fan and went between the legs before finishing with his right hand for a perfect score. McKinnie was right behind him with 48 points and Mays and Garrett tied with 45 points to advance to the finals.
Sykes was last to go in the finals, and with Garrett having posted a 49-point dunk, Sykes needed to do something spectacular for another perfect score. The All-League point guard had running mate Carrington Love (Milwaukee, Wis.) throw the ball off the side of the backboard, and Sykes flew in from the corner, caught the ball with his back to the rim and flushed home a reverse dunk.
The three-point contest included Brown, Love, freshman Turner Botz (Little Chute, Wis.) and senior Daniel Turner (McCordsville, Ind.). Botz knocked down 14 threes and Brown hit 13 to advance to the finals. In the finals, the 7-foot-1 Brown showed off the stroke that helped him knock down 30 three-pointers as a junior in 2012-13. He made 13 more three-pointers and defeated Botz for the title.
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