On Tuesday, July 7, the world’s most noticable Slam Dunk contest “Sprite Kings of Air” took place at the sports complex of Grizinkalns. Eight of the strongest basketball dunkers from the whole world took part in this competition. The more than three-hour-long event was filled with musical surprises and breathtaking shows and it was even attended by the newly elected President of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis and the most popular music band from Latvia „Brainstorm”.
“Sprite Kings of Air” was held in Riga for the third time, but this was by far the most daring and exciting one, because it brought together people from more than 70 world countries on the live webcast of the event. The world’s leading competition winners competed at the event and it was an overwhelming victory for the Canadian Jordan “Mission Impossible” Kilganon. He performed an unbelievable slam dunk over and across a convertible car.
The following athletes competed for the “Sprite Kings of Air” champion title:
– Justin “Jus Fly” Darlington (Canada) – two-time Grizinkalns sports complex champion, as well as the owner of the champion title for countless other of the world-best Slam Dunk contests;
– Rafal “Lipek” Lipinsky (Poland) – “Quai 54” and “Baku 2015 European Games’ winner;
– Dmitry “Smoove” Krivenko (Ukraine) – repeated champion of Ukraine;
– Brandon “Werm” Lacue (USA) – one of the world’s best Slam Dunk masters, who dunks from one foot;
– Jordan “Mission Impossible” Kilganon (Canada) – a world’s sensation and the owner of the elusive „Scorpion Dunk”;
– Ilya “Kroha” Kroshka (Ukraine) – “Moscow Open 2014” winner;
– Porter “What’s Gravity?” Maberry (USA) – the shortest (5.4 feet)professional dunker in the world;
– Kristaps Dārgais (Latvia) – “Moscow Open 2013” champion and the most titled dunker in Latvia, who was especially hungry to win right at home.
The jury featured one of the best Latvian basketball players Kristaps Valters, the former coach of the national champion team “VEF Riga” Nikolajs Mazurs, Latvian national team candidate for the European Championships in Riga – Rolands Freimanis, Latvian basketball legend Raimonds Miglinieks and “Ghetto Basket” patron Andris Biedriņs.
The “Sprite Kings of the Air” event was also visited by the new president of Latvia – Raimonds Vējonis. He welcomed all the Slam Dunk contest visitors and athletes in the sportiest neighborhood in Riga. He invited everyone to support the local hero Kristaps Dārgais. “I, as the President, henceforth will be supporting young people in their ventures and achievements in different sports. I will support the “Ghetto Games” movement.
Last year, I was able to play at a town tournament, where my team won the first place,” wishing a successful competition and a pleasant event, said Mr Vējonis.
The founder and leader of the “Ghetto Games” movement Raimonds Elbakjans was very concise after the event, saying that “this is the best experience that has happened to me.” The producer of the”Sprite Kings of Air” event Renārs Zeltiņš reveals that “looking back at the Slam Dunk contest in Grīziņkalns, I must admit that this was the biggest and most stunning event of its kind this summer. Not only in Latvia, but throughout the world as a whole. Such emotions, inspiration, energy exchange between the participants and spectators, while all were sober, have not been experienced anywhere else.
The “Sprite Kings of Air” competition was held for eight best dunkers in the world. Here at the Grīziņkalns sports complex we had everything – a limousine, Michael Jackson, who’s role was perfectly played by a local musician and entrepenour Ralfs Eilands, a special song was performed to welcome the newly elected president of Latvia Raimonds Vējonis. There were also horses, dunkers entered the central stage on unusual bicycles, famous basketball player Andris Biedrins was leading the competition jury, the mayor of Riga assisted the best Polish dunker Rafal “Lipek” Lipinski to perform a dunk, basketball stunt masters “Lords of Gravity” from Hungary with a trampoline show, karaoke singing famous songs by the band „Brainstorm” with the band members being on hand and joining the fun. It all ended with the amazing winning dunk performed by Jordan Kilganon. This was one of the happiest days of my life! It all seems surreal! Thanks to everyone who showed up. See you next year, because this is just the beginning!”