The Richmond Register

Sports

March 18, 2014

OVC BASKETBALL: EKU’s Marcus Lewis selected by fans to compete in dunk contest at Final Four

RICHMOND — EKU senior Marcus Lewis will be competing in the State Farm College Slam Dunk Championship in Dallas during this year’s Final Four.

Lewis won the 2014 “State Farm Dark Horse Dunker” Facebook competition on Monday — a five-week, 16-player bracket-style elimination competition which began Feb. 16.

Each week, Lewis went head-to-head with another college player with the winner decided by a daily fan vote on Facebook.

Lewis defeated Justin Simmons of the University of Nebraska Omaha in the finals with 58 percent of the vote.

The slam dunk contest is part of the State Farm College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships. It will be held April 3 at 9 p.m. and shown live on ESP. from Southern Methodist University’s Moody Coliseum.

Eight players will take part in the competition. The rest of the field will be announced March 31.

Lewis said the support from the Colonels fans was great.

“It was a good feeling knowing that many people support you in anything you do,” Lewis said.

When he first heard he had been entered in the contest he had mixed emotions.

“It was exciting for the fact that I was one of the people honored enough to be able to participate in the contest,” he said. “But it was also scary that I have to go up against eight other guys. I’m just hoping I can win it.”

Lewis has been in a couple of other organized dunk contest and fared well.

“I’ve been in two dunk contests in high school. One was at an all-star game and one was an Illinois state contest,” Lewis said. “I finished first in the all-star game and third in the state one. T.J. Bennett, who plays for Oklahoma, beat me in the state one, but I beat him in the all-star game one. They were both fun.

Lewis’ teammates have no doubt their friend will fare well in the contest.

“I think he will put on a great show. I think he was made for it. He’s got a lot of dunks. I’ve seen all he’s got, but the world hasn’t seen what he can do, so I think he will show off,” fellow EKU senior Glenn Cosey said. “My favorite is when he does the Paul George 360 degree windmills. I’ve seen him do that and it was real impressive.”

Junior Deverin Muff said he thinks it’s great for EKU that Lewis is in the contest and believes he will win it.

“It’s awesome that he’s going to be in the contest. It’s good for the university. It’s good for our team and it’s good for the city too to have someone represent them like that,” Muff said. “I think Marcus has got it. I’ve seen him do things I’ve never seen any other player do, so I’m excited to see him. I think he has a good shot to win and I think he can win it.”

Cosey said that if Lewis does win the contest, his teammates won’t let it go to his head.

“He’s pretty level-headed and I don’t think his head will swell if he wins it. We won’t let it swell. We cut him no slack out here. We’re tough on him, especially the seniors. We’re tough on him.”

Lewis has 44 dunks so far this season and has 69 total dunks in his two years at EKU.

The senior will try to add to that total when the Colonels take on Kansas Friday in the NCAA Tournament in St. Louis.

Former winners of the “State Farm Dark Horse Dunker” contest include Corey Law (High Point 2013), James Justice (Martin Methodist 2012) and Jacob Tucker (Illinois College 2011). Justice and Tucker went on to win the Slam Dunk Championship.

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