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In the summer of ’94, when MJ was playing baseball, Converse was known for basketball, and the NBA’s dunk contest was losing its mystique, Isaiah “J.R.” Rider brought us the now-legendary East Bay Funk Dunk and rejuvenated the dunk scene. At a time when innovative dunks were seemingly exhausted and the great ones often recycled, Rider’s emphatic between-the-legs slam was cited by Charles Barkley as the best dunk he had ever seen. Check it out: “Charles Barkley, what do you think?”


Yes, Charles, it was awesome. Since then, variations of the East Bay Funk Dunk have been used by superstars like Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, and Jason Richardson to win dunk competitions. And the rest is history.

In honor of that historic dunk over 20 years ago, Eastbay will be hosting the Eastbay Funk Dunk contest at The American Sports Center in Anaheim, Cal., on Oct. 24. From coast to coast and around the globe, eight of the best dunkers in the world will compete to take home a $10,000 first place prize. Two teams made up of different-style dunkers will strategize and compete in three rounds of a never-before-seen revolutionary dunk contest — and the winner takes all.

How It Works

There will be three jaw-dropping rounds, all judged by the Funk Dunk king J.R. Rider.

Round 1 – Freestyle: Five minutes of rapid fire dunks.

Round 2 – D.U.N.K.: The dunking version of H.O.R.S.E.

Round 3 – All East Bay Funk Dunks: Props are allowed (and encouraged).

Who’s Dunking

There are two teams of four dunkers, consisting of U.S.-based members and international phenoms.

Team One: Guy Dupuy, Kenny Dobbs, Porter Maberry, Michael Purdie.

Team Two: John Clark, Issac White, Rafal Lipinski, Justin Darlington.

These guys can dunk blindfolded over three people, do cartwheel dunks, and even dunk over multiple cars. It’s going to be wild. Here’s a small taste of what they can do:


You can get more details and stream the whole event at www.eastbay.com/funkdunk, starting at 12:15 pm PST. It’s going to be fun, so do not miss it. It all goes down during The Open Gym Premier’s Halloween Classic Tournament in Anaheim on Oct. 24. Make a note, mark your calendar, and set a reminder!

Follow @ballislife and @opengym premier, and stay connected with @eastbay on Twitter and @officialeastbay on Instagram for #EastbayFunkDunk updates.