Some may look at the slam dunk as another way to score. But others view it as a form of art. Glenville State's Lamar Mallory doesn't just dunk the ball. He shakes the back board.
"My first dunk was in the ninth grade," Pioneers senior forward Lamar Mallory said. "Around that time, that's when everybody was trying to see who had the most hops. Who had the most bounce. Who could dunk. Who was getting up there the fastest. So yeah, it was about ninth grade when it first came. After that, you know. You know!"
At this point, we do know. Mallory leads the Mountain East Conference in field goal percentage, which usually goes to the one player who finds the easiest ways to score.
Opposing big men have seen themselves at the other end of the slam dunk, thanks to Lamar Mallory. Basically, you need to be aware of where Mallory is on the court at all times. Or else, you will get dunked on!
"When he originally got here, that's was mainly what he did. We ran a lot of transition. He was scoring in transition, above the rim. He's improved his game to where he's an all-around player now. He can do it back to the basket. He can do it in a good half-court offense, in a set. That's what has taken us to the next level, I think. He's a dynamic player and can do more than just one thing. So he's hard to guard," Glenville State Men's Basketball Head Coach Stephen Dye said.
Now in his final year at Glenville State, Mallory has transformed from a high-riser, to a multi-faceted player. One who has carried the torch for the Pioneers this season, and one that currently leads the Mountain East Conference in scoring with nearly 22 points per game.
"It's been a journey," Mallory admitted. "It's been a long journey. I don't really know how to explain it. Before I got here, I had a lot of excessive time. I had this gym that I could always go to and I would just dribble the ball. I'd go out in the parking lot and just dribble the ball. That was my work ethic. Just to get a ball and play with it. Hopefully, some type of relationship would build up between my hand and the ball and we can just flow on the court."
"His level. His athleticism. His motor. It's one of a kind. It's hard to guard. In my mind, he's the best player in the league," Dye said.
As of right now, it's hard to disagree with Coach Dye's assessment.