Air Congo, You Have Clearance For Takeoff

Posted February 23rd, 2011 at 2:16 pm (UTC-4)
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I was a 10-year-old boy when Julius “Dr. J” Erving launched his brilliant professional career in 1971 with the Virginia Squires in the now defunct American Basketball Association. As luck would have it, I was living at the time in Norfolk, Virginia, where the Squires were based.  With his spectacular, high-flying moves to the hoop, Dr. J quickly attracted attention from basketball fans everywhere, including a Young boy in Norfolk.  My Dad took me to Norfolk Scope, a brand new arena at the time, to see Dr. J make some of his amazing moves and leaps to the basket.  Among Dr. J’s accomplishments, he won the ABA’s first Slam Dunk Contest at its 1976 All-Star Game in Denver, Colorado.

Later in 1976, the ABA merged with the NBA, which in 1984, reintroduced the Slam Dunk Contest at its birthplace in Denver.  Erving again played a memorable role in that contest, wowing spectators with a dunk from the free throw line.  Twenty-seven years later, and with Dr. J. courtside watching the dunkathon in Los Angeles, a player from Congo-Brazzaville, Serge “Air Congo” Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder, brought back memories of Erving.  Air Congo, you have clearance for take-off in this video.

Air Congo still has a lot of flight miles to go before he can match Erving’s Hall of Fame basketball career. But I will give the young Congolese player props for that dunk in Los Angeles – it betters Dr. J’s in terms of distance. Dr. J’s foot appears to be over the foul line at takeoff, while Ibaka’s is behind the line.

Sonny Young
Since 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

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Sonny Side of Sports is an energetic and action-packed look at both world and African sports, broadcast on radio, TV and the Internet. Since the show’s creation in 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

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