The Art of Dunking


By: Jamar Akoh

A lot of people think dunking is something that is just done without much thought. But, in fact, there is a great amount of thought put into it.

“Have I done this dunk already today?”

“Are the fans going to get tired of seeing this same dunk?”

“How’s my swag on the dunk?”

So I have been working on mastering what we call the “leg lift” in the basketball world. I have been working on this craft for years and I am still a long ways from mastering. It is what it sounds like, a simple lift of the legs when executing a dunk. While it may sound very simple, this takes a great deal of practice and can be very challenging to execute properly.

Timing is everything when it comes to the leg lift. It is best executed when the participant begins to lift his legs right before dunking the ball. By doing this there is special kind of force that is created, making a very powerful looking dunk. By lifting the legs, there is also more weight coming down as you grab the rim and finish the dunk(almost making it look like you are having a seat while hanging on the rim) and this is were the style comes in.

After all this, last but not least, the ROAR. Finish off this monstrous jam with a roar at the top of your lungs.


The trick here is to begin screaming as soon as you know you’ve completed the jam. It would be so embarrassing if you started screaming, only to find out you were unsuccessful. Once there guaranteed success, you may then begin the yelling process while still hanging on the rim. From there you can swing off of the rim with great “swag” and continue on with the roar to the crowd.

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Top 25 NBA Players Under 25

Grady Matter

25-21

25. Jabari Parker (age 23)

24. Trae Young (age 20)

23. Brandon Ingram (age 21)

22. Andrew Wiggins (age 23)

21. Domantas Sabonis (age 22)

Out of the five guys listed here, Trae Young and Domantas Sabonis probably have the highest upside, and have a chance to climb these ranks within the next couple years. Brandon Ingram flashes potential at times, but is wildly inconsistent and hasn’t developed as well as expected for year 3. As for Wiggins, and Parker, both are over-paid volume scorers who shoot poorly from deep and consistently play bad defense.

20-16

20. Julius Randle (age 24)

19. Myles Turner (age 22)

18. Jaylen Brown (age 22)

17. Lauri Markannen (age 21)

16. Kyle Kuzma (age 23)

Kuzma continues to build upon an impressive rookie season upping his ppg to 19.1 as the second option on the Lakers.  Jaylen Brown and Myles Turner both play outstanding defense, but have taken backseat roles on offense within their respective teams. Markannen has been extremely efficient on offense for a Bulls team lacking any scoring while Randle has been a revelation since signing with New Orleans, averaging 20ppg and 9.2rpg for the year.  

15-11

15. Jamal Murray (age 21)

14. DeAndre Ayton (age 20)

13. D’Angelo Russell (age 22)

12. Clint Capela (age 24)

11. Jayson Tatum (age 20)

Tatum is as smooth of a scorer as there is in the NBA and will continue to rise up this list. There probably isn’t another center better suited for the Houston Rockets than Clint Capela, who excels on the boards and finishing lobs. Russell has only gotten better since leaving the Lakers. Ayton has been a bright spot on an awful Suns squad, showcasing versatility on the offensive end. Murray has played a huge role in the success the Nuggets have been having this year.

10. DeAaron Fox (age 21)

Fox has done the impossible by making the Sacramento Kings playoff contenders for the first time in 12 years. Fox has been shooting 46% from the field and 36.4% from deep while averaging 17.2ppg and 7.1apg. Not only has Fox been extremely efficient, he also leads one of the most fun offenses to watch in the league. The progression of Buddy Hield and Fox as a duo is something to keep your eye on going forward. 

9. Donavan Mitchell (age 22)

Mitchell has built on a phenomenal rookie campaign following some early season struggles. He’s a great two-way player with a chance to have a HOF career. These first two years are eerily similar to Dwayne Wade’s early career.

8. Kristaps Porzingis (age 23)

Porzingis (when healthy) is among the most skilled players in the league. At 7’2 he is extremely long but has guard-like skills. His ability to shoot from deep makes him nearly impossible to guard. There still remains a question of durability when it comes to his long-term health.

7. Devin Booker (age 22)

Devin Booker has developed at a much faster rate than most expected. He’s currently averaging 25ppg and 6.7apg. While his scoring has been great, it hasn’t translated into wins for Phoenix. Expect Booker and Ayton to develop into a great duo within the next couple years.

6. Ben Simmons (age 22)

Ben Simmons recently made his first all star game, and it’s not hard to see why when you look at his averages of 16.7ppg, 8apg, and 9.2rpg. Despite not having a jumpshot, he’s been very effective because he has such a versatile game. I’m not convinced Simmons ever develops a jumpshot and it probably will hinder him in today’s NBA. Regardless, Simmons is a generational talent as a 6’10 point guard with exceptional court vision.

5. Luka Doncic (age 19)

Doncic has been the most impressive rookie since LeBron James. His step-back 3’s in clutch moments are unreal for a guy that’s 19. One of the most exciting players in the league already, expect Doncic to develop into a great. 

4. Karl Anthony Towns (age 23)

Karl Anthony Towns puts up ridiculous stats and is as skilled a post as there is in the league. No one has ever denied how talented Towns is, but it’s fair to wonder if any other star has as empty stats as he does. Going forward, Towns will have to prove he can lead a team to be contenders, otherwise, he’s likely to fall on this list.

3. Nikola Jokic (age 23)

Jokic may end up being the best passing center of all time as he averages 7.7apg. His game is really unconventional with a strange looking jumpshot and below average athleticism, but it sure does work well. Denver currently has the second best record in the West and Jokic is the biggest reason why.

2. Joel Embiid (age 24)

Embiid doesn’t have any weaknesses in his game. He’s very skilled and physically dominant in the post. Yet, he can also run the floor like a deer. Not to mention, he’s a pretty good defensive center. It’s not hard to envision Embiid having a hall of fame career, with a chance at being one of the great centers to have played.

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (age 24)

The Greek Freak is most likely to be the face of the NBA after LeBron’s run is over. He’s electrifying in every sense of the word and continues to get better. The Milwaukee Bucks have become title contenders through the dominance of Giannis and there’s no reason they can’t sustain it for the next 10 years.

5 Lies People Believe About Marrying Young

Written by: Megan Wall

I’m a 21-year-old college student in Montana, and I’ve been married for a year and a half as of this month. I consistently get the same reactions whenever someone, especially someone around my age, discovers that I’m a wife: “You’re married?!? At 21?? That’s soo young!! I could never give up so much of my life right now!” While I understand that not everyone needs to, or even should, get married young, I feel that there are quite a few misunderstandings about what it’s like to be a wife at my age. Here are 5 lies that many people believe about marrying young:

Lie #1: Marrying young takes away all of your independence.

It’s true that being married brings change to your life; you’re choosing to weave your life together with another person and that requires a beautiful, and sometimes difficult, selflessness. However, being married does NOT take away everything that makes you YOU. I’ve found that it’s really healthy for my husband and I to do things independently; we both have very different passions, hobbies and activities that we find restful and/or enjoyable. For example, he loves to take the occasional day to go fishing with a few buddies, and could be on the river allll day long. I, on the other hand, could fish happily for a maximum of (maybe) 30 minutes, and would much rather spend an afternoon at a dance class (my husband’s worst nightmare) or catching up with a girlfriend over coffee. 

My husband is my best friend and we value taking time to pour into one another and into our marriage; there are even many things we both really enjoy! However, we treasure our individual friendships and hobbies and understand the importance of taking time for ourselves. I believe that when you’re in a healthy marriage, you take the time to intentionally pursue one another, but you also encourage your spouse to continue pursuing things that they love independent of your marriage. Marrying young has given me a new dependence on the person I love most in this world, while also allowing me to maintain my independence in ways that I deeply value.

Lie #2: You have to give up on your dreams when you get married young.

I hear this one a lot. People think that getting married young requires one to give up on everything they’ve ever aspired to be and do. In fact, many don’t think they should get married until they’ve achieved what they want and have “everything in their life under control.” My experience with marriage, however, has shown me that it doesn’t inhibit you, but rather has the potential to encourage your dreams to flourish and grow in beautiful, new ways. Being a wife and walking through life with my best friend has inspired the dreamer in me to come alive even more; my husband’s support and belief in me gives me a greater courage to walk in my gifts and choose boldness. Now, I must point out that it’s important to choose to do life with someone you’re compatible with– someone who’s heart is in alignment with yours in the ways that matter most. Doing so will allow you and your spouse to pray for and pursue your dreams together.

Lie #3: You won’t grow as much as you could if you stayed single.

            This one is fairly similar to the lie discussed previously. Many believe that getting married at a young age “ties you down” and holds you back in life. However, the beautiful thing about marriage is that it gives you and your spouse the opportunity to sharpen and encourage one another to grow in areas that may be hard to identify alone; starting young can be a tremendous blessing when you view marriage in this way! When you live with another person long enough, they see every bit of you – every flaw and insecurity and struggle. Acknowledging personal weakness is not something most of us excel at… Luckily, a spouse is someone who sees everything in you, loves you despite your imperfections, and even loves you enough to encourage growth in your blind spot areas of weakness – what a gift! 

Lie #4: Marrying young doesn’t empower women.

            Attending a very liberal university, I often get the vibe that women see marrying young as an undermining of women empowerment. That, for whatever reason, it is more admirable for a woman to achieve things independently than when she’s chosen to become a wife. I simply do not believe that I have to achieve a career before marriage in order to be a confident and accomplished woman. Whether a woman is single or not does not determine the validity of her success; accomplishing something without a man in one’s life does not prove greater strength and should not earn greater admiration. I believe that a truly confident woman sees worth and potential in herself whether married or not. Women can walk in empowerment no matter their relationship status. 

Lie #5: Marrying young takes away some of your fun.

            Let me just say this… if you choose your life partner wisely, then your life together will not be dull. Partying, dating around, and hopping from one person to another may be seen as “fun” by some young people, but for others, it’s realized that this is an empty and unfulfilling way to live. Am I saying that you have to be married to have fun? Absolutely not. Am I saying that being single is always unfulfilling and empty? No way! What I am saying, is that the idea that marriage takes away your fun is based on a warped view of what marriage can be. Throughout this past year and a half, my husband and I have laughed until our bellies ached (both at and with each other), we’ve had crazily competitive and hilarious game nights, we’ve gone on lots of small (and some big) adventures together, and we’ve found humor even in the days that seem mundane. It’s incredible to be chosen and loved by another person every day, and it’s a gift to find that special someone early in life – someone who brings more joy into your every day. 

I hope that I have been clear in writing this blog. I want to reiterate that I do not believe that every person should get married young; I believe that God’s timing works in all sorts of wonderful ways, and I know that everyone’s story is different. I’m not claiming that mine is better than anyone else’s, or that it’s even the “ideal marriage timeline” that should be sought for by all. My hope, however, is that my words have brought light to the negative perceptions that many have about getting married young, and that they have clarified why I find the opposite to be true. Although marriage brings certain challenges and complexities to my life that many college students don’t face, I’m thankful to be married and I cherish my role as a wife. Marriage can be such a gift, and it is my hope that other young women may see it as so. 

Thanks so much for reading! Feel free to check out my blog page, Wall Wife Life, to read about other thoughts, experiences, and lessons I’ve learned in marriage thus far.

The Lineman’s Guide to Cutting Weight: Fitness After Football

by Myles McKee-Osibodu

If you’ve played football at any level, you understand the expectations and pressure put on athletes to be able to gain or drop weight quickly. While these pressures can be felt at every position, there’s no position groups that feel these demands more intensely than the offensive and defensive line, where size matters almost as much as talent. I’ve spent the last few years of my life as an NCAA Division I student-athlete, but it wasn’t until football was over that I was finally able to achieve my fitness goals.

First Things First

So I don’t think it’s a secret that a lot of football players (especially the dudes in the trenches) are just wired a little differently than your Average Joe. You’ve gotta be a little bit insane to voluntarily sign up to commit 40 to 50 hours a week (not including school or work) to a jam packed schedule of workouts, 4:45AM wake-up calls, film sessions, training room work, practices, meetings, yada yada yada, all for the reward of bashing your head into another 300 lb grown-ass man over and over again… but for whatever crazy reason, we did that… And that madness instilled a mindset in us that is different than most. A mindset that allows you to face any challenge and attack it without hesitation. The mindset that allowed you to achieve your goals in football is the same mindset that its going to take to achieve your goals after football. Commitment, self-disciple, and a whole lotta that WORK. Easy as that. And just like in football, you’ve gotta have a game plan.

Game Plan

Through hard work and dedication, I’ve been fortunate enough to drop 70+ lbs (in under 7 months) twice in the last 4 years and the things I can point to that contributed the most to my journey were:

  • Intermittent fasting
  • Working out with purpose
  • Keeping your eyes on the prize

Intermittent Fasting

You’re a former lineman. You love to eat. I get it. But believe me when I tell you that even though it sounds pretty intimidating, intermittent fasting is going to be your best friend in this whole process. In fact, if you do it right, you can still eat a lot of your favorite not-so-healthy foods somewhat regularly.

Contrary to popular belief, the entire idea behind intermittent fasting is NOT to starve yourself. With intermittent fasting, you’re still supposed to take in the same amount of calories you would normally, but instead of taking in those calories through the traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner, you instead give yourself a 4-8 hour window (depending on what you can handle) each day where you scarf down an entire day’s worth of calories. After a few weeks, your body will eventually get used to your new eating pattern and you’ll start to not even get hungry outside of the window that you’ve set for yourself. Not only does intermittent fasting offer weight-loss benefits, but there are also cognitive and cell restoration benefits that come along with fasting regimens as your body enters into a state of ketosis.

As great as the benefits of intermittent fasting can be, it is definitely something that you shouldn’t jump into without doing your research first and making sure it’s the right weight loss method for you. Below are a few links to videos and podcasts to help you begin your research and better understand exactly how intermittent fasting works.

Working Out with Purpose

So obviously, throughout this process, your workout regimen is going to need to be pretty gnarly if you want to see real results fast. It’s crucial that you’re able to hold yourself accountable to not only get in the gym everyday, but also to work your ass off while you’re there! You don’t have your coaches to yell at you anymore, no more teammates to hype you up when you’re not feeling it, no real consequences for skipping a workout. IT’S 100% ON YOU NOW!

So now that you’re in the gym, you’ve gotta figure out how to transition from the year-round swoll-sesh that is lineman workouts into a workout that’ll get you slim and trim. I get asked all the time what my workout routine is and the answer varies but the one thing that is always a constant is CARDIO! I know… as a big guy, cardio is your worst nightmare and rightfully so! Even when you drop the weight, cardio still sucks but like I said before, you’ve gotta embrace the challenge! If it was easy to drop 85 lbs, everybody would do it!

While I 100% encourage you to attack the gym, it’s important to make sure you’re smart about your cardio and that you don’t try to do too much too fast! You can definitely put yourself in some sketchy situations if you’re going all out too early in the process. Nobody wants to be the guy that passes out at the gym because he was hitting the elliptical too hard so make sure you know your limitations, but cardio definitely needs to be the focal point of your workouts. Everything else is supplementary. You’ve been big as hell your whole damn life, you don’t need to lift anymore! Go ahead and hop on that treadmill big fella!

#NipSlip

As many big guys do, I’ve always had some pretty serious knee issues and I know jogging isn’t too easy on the ol’ joints, especially when you’re pushing 300 pounds. I’ve found that the stationary bike is a great alternative to the treadmill and a much more comfortable place to knock-out a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) session. I bike at least one hour (22-25 miles) on the stationary bike 5 to 6 times a week, alternating between 30-second and 90-second working sets with 30-second resting sets in between. It’s the worst thing in the world for the first few weeks but it’s a freakin’ game changer once you start getting comfortable with higher-intensity cardio! Find some good thermogenic pre-workout, search for a good playlist, and get crackin’ on that thing!

Example of how to do a HIIT workout on a stationary bike: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rh8VswzWDow

Shoutout Brio Fitness ????????????

The first month or so of  daily cardio is gonna be killer on your lungs and your legs. Your heart is going to be beating through your chest. You’ll probably be the sweatiest guy in the gym and I promise it won’t be a pretty sight. But as you gradually start to shred more and more, you’re gonna realize how worth it it was and be stoked that you did it!

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

Just like chasing any other goal in life, its super important to be able to see the big picture and remember what you’re working towards. The biggest challenge you’ll face in this whole process will be the mental battle you’re going to be fighting with yourself to keep pushing your limits. It’s key that you don’t let yourself get discouraged or lose sight of your goals if you aren’t seeing the results that you want right away! Keeping the right mentality can make ALL THE DIFFERENCE!

You’re not gonna lose 10 lbs in a week and you might not even lose 5 lbs in a week, but you’ve always got to remember to keep a level head, put your head down, and keep on grinding! You’ll only get out what you put into your workouts and dieting, so if you give a shitty effort, you’re bound to get shitty results. At the end of the day, nobody else can want it for you. If you want it bad enough, you’ll make it happen! No excuses.

I hope this helps you in your journey! Good luck, be smart, and get after it!

Man’s Perspective of a Love Story

By: Tyler Burton

Have you ever been to a point in life where you wanted nothing to do with the opposite sex? This is exactly where I was ever since I moved to Missoula, MT in the Spring of 2017 to attend the University. After a year had gone by this is when my love story began. The pictures provided will be important events that happened in order.

On Thursday January 25th, 2018 I was reading The Duck Commander Devotional book (Image above) and the topic was on motivation. I’m not usually the person to post things to my instagram story but it motivated me and I wanted others to be motivated by it as well. With that said, it was uploaded to my story within seconds. Shortly after, a girl replied to my story and said, “Sooooo good”. What did I do next? You guessed it! I went to her instagram profile and scrolled through some of her photos. Of course she was attractive so I messaged her back and made conversation. After a week of messaging back and forth, an unplanned appearance occurred.

Downtown at a local coffee shop called, Zootown Brew, there was a church service being held. I decided to go with some of my roommates that evening and of course the most beautiful woman in the world was there that night. During the church service, I had the worst butterflies anyone could ever imagine. After the church service was over, I saw her and a friend heading across the street. I had to make up my mind and I had to do it quick. Do I try to run into her and make conversation or do I let this opportunity slide and maybe get another shot some other time? I wouldn’t be able to sleep that night if I didn’t go talk to her so I went and made conversation. From the very first time I made eye contact with her, I knew there was something special about her.

Over the course of a month we became really good friends and I decided I wanted to start pursuing a relationship with her. After discussing our feelings with one another, I decided to ask her dad if he wanted to get coffee at City Brew.

We had a great conversation and I asked him for his permission to pursue his daughter. He gave me permission as long as I would Respect her with a capital R. I would recommend this to any guy that wants to get on good terms with the father from day 1. Believe me, it will help.

After the conversation with her father, that night I wrote her a letter in a journal. The letter consisted of my intentions with her and I gave it to her when we were out to dinner at Jakers. After she read it I asked her to be my girlfriend. She said yes and when I dropped her off we shared out first kiss together.

Over the course of a few months we shared several memories and wrote back in forth in the journal to each other. Each and everyday I began to fall more and more in love with her. I had a plan in my mind to complete school before I would ever get married. God had different plans… I shared this with my girlfriend at the time and she felt God was leading her down the same path. After some time had passed, I went to one of the most nerve racking conversations I would ever experience in my life. THE CONVERSATION OF WHERE I WOULD ASK MY POTENTIAL FATHER IN LAW FOR HIS DAUGHTERS HAND IN MARRIAGE.

Him and I met at the Cracker Barrel at 9am on a Friday morning. We had some small talk conversation at first and then I lead the conversations into my feelings for his daughter. The rest was a blur until I asked him if I could marry his daughter. He said yes and we both shared some tears as well as some laughs.

Fast forwarding to the proposal! This was one of the most exciting moments of my life. The 1 time in my life that I will get on 1 knee to ask the woman I love, “Will you marry me?” The evening consisted of a nice dinner in Bigfork, MT at When in Rome. After dinner I asked her if she wanted to go catch the sunset on Flathead Lake at a state park called, Wayfarers. She didn’t hesitate to say yes and the ring in my pocket began to itch. As the sun began to go down we arrived at the destination where my sister and her husband were undercover taking photo’s. Neither of us saw them as we walked into my plan to ask her to marry me. I got down on one knee as she began to cry. Then I began to cry. I could hardly get out the words, “Will you Marry me?” I wanted to say all these things that I loved about her before I asked her but the tears down both of our faces said it all. After she composed herself, she said yes. This was the beginning step towards one of the most important days of my life, the wedding!

We had 100 days to plan a wedding over the summertime. My job was to say yes to everything and help where ever I could. It went by so fast and sooner than I knew it, I married my best friend. The 1 thing I wanted to do at our wedding was choreograph a special dance between the two of us. If you’ve gotten this far, don’t hesitate to watch our first dance (click on the picture below). YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT.

Thanks for reading!