March 19, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Last year when Jermaine Taylor watched the Vegas.com Slam Dunk Championship on ESPN, he wondered what it would be like to compete in the event. On April 2, Taylor will find out performing on the national stage when he participates in the dunk contest in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Taylor, who was one of the nation's top players as a senior, learned Monday that he was selected to compete in the championship, which will be held in conjunction with the Final Four in Detroit.
"I am excited," he said. "I have always seen it growing up, so I have always wanted to be a part of it. Now I will finally have my chance to show people (what I can do)."
UCF head coach Kirk Speraw and associate head coach Mike Jaskulski lobbied for Taylor to be part of the dunk contest. The campaign began in the fall when the coaching staff sent a DVD filled with Taylor's dunks to Intersport, a Chicago-based company, runs and produces the event.
Taylor is no stranger to dunk contests. While at Tavares High School, he won several events in Lake County.
The 2008-09 Conference USA Player of the Year, he ranked third in the country in scoring, averaging 26.2 points. The shooting guard paced the Knights in points in 29 of the team's 31 games.
Other confirmed entrants for the dunk contest include New Mexico's Tony Danridge and Charlotte's Charlie Coley. Dandridge and Taylor met on Nov. 22 when UCF posted a 72-71 win over the host Lobos at The Pit. Taylor totaled a game-high 18 points in the victory.
ESPN will air the championship starting at 9:30 p.m. on April 2.
For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.
Both of the prep players who inked National Letters of Intent with the Knights in the fall guided their high school teams to state titles. R.J. Scott and Salmen High School (Slidell) claimed the Louisiana Class 4A crown last week. On March 6, Keith Clanton and his Orlando Christian Prep teammates won their second-straight Florida Class 1A championship... The Knights shot 74.7 percent at the free-throw line in 2008-09, good for a school Division I record.