Kadour Ziani can rule the world with his eyes closed. Bible truth.
He’s still a bit of an unknown in the states, but somewhere in a land far-and-away, Ziani is revolutionizing the art of the slam dunk. His otherworldly bounce and unmatched hang time is slowly but surely morphing doubters into believers, defying the notion of physically impossible, opening even the most glazed over of eyes and allowing the game to make a pre-pubescent boy turned smut star like-growth in parts unknown.
Utilizing a meditative like running start, Special K launches himself into the air with bottle rocket-like explosion. The fourth is behind us, the beers we flushed into our systems and patriotic uniforms we copped at the Salvation Army and Goodwill all in the rearview.
Don’t get it twisted, as one former USC coach likes to say.
The FIREWORKS are just getting started. I sit here in the living room of my home, two candles set beside me, a meditation statue situated to the right of me. This is the perfect setting for an epiphany, and my words would most certainly resonate in the Zen Master (in Jackson’s book, Sacred Hoops, he talks about the various sacred ornaments on display in the 1996 Chicago Bulls home locker room and describes it as the essential self-revelation room. The centerpiece of these artifacts, if I can recall cloudlessly and correctly, is a sculpture of a calf that was born in Wisconsin. This aspect of the book elicited a response from me because it was FUCKING EXHILARATING and Action Jackson’s experiences can allow one to escape the norms and mores of everyday life and practice zen and other meditational regimens of this ilk to liberate the mind and put it in a special place that’s free of the pollution we encounter every day).
Anyways, as I sit here, eyeballs glued to the screen, my ticker beating at a rapid, Monster energy drink (fuck yeah!)-like pace, waiting, waiting, waiting—for Ziani to pop up (no homo) and capture my focus while floating his body somewhere between the sky and God’s green surface. This cat would make Spud Webb and Nate Robinson look like ordinary people with ordinary bounce.
The music adds to the sensation, exhilaration, and pure amazement. This is the pinnacle of my summer day. It’s a mind stimulating video that defies the elements of gravity.
Ziani leaps his spindly 5-foot-10, 140-lb. frame into the air and your instantly offered a breathtaking view. It’s like seeing Godzilla drinking a slurpee and smoking a Black-and-Mild while eating a McChicken straight outta the dollar menu in the middle of Times Square on a scintillating Tuesday afternoon when work, a bulky and overbearing Guido boss, among other things, has you scouting the delis and convenience stores for stress-deletion drinks and potions.
Something you think you’ve seen all your life, and all of a sudden it occurs to yourself you might never see it again, according to Frank White.
Your head is cleared of all distraction and any whirlwind like situation you can think of (if your enduring a gut-wrenching panic attack, get on the internet and youtube this guy immediately). His work is just that ill.
I first learned of this man when….
I was in the colossal city of dreams perusing some sports magazines. Distraction hits me like a high-tide wave, relentlessly pulling me into the undertow as a smoke-show MILF sporting what else but a TRAMP STAMP.
The watermark of promiscuous and simply put, more open than the Madaba deli. More open than Walmart in Tennessee on a Tuesday. More open than that jump-off littered in ill India ink that gave the New Jersey Institute of Technology men’s hoop team a D-train. This unforgettable, wild choo-choo was one that helped sell a pair of visiting recruits, both of whom happened to pen with that low Division-I institution the next morning. So open even the aforementioned Nate Robinson would pass her the ball.
Fitting, because Nate the Great was actually the source of my distraction from the first distraction. Young brolick took my attention away from the beautiful physical specimen and baited me into purchasing a magazine ballsy enough to put the NBA’s smurf-sized yet most pugnacious G (just ask J.R. Smith!) on the cover.
There was an excellent feature on this eye-opening, unreal hops-toting freak-of-nature, who reportedly stretches four hours a day and emulated a bat while SLAM Streetball performed their photo shoot with him.
*I hate to be that annoying Public Relations cat that always has to pull the bias card and sell his home products when naturally most people haven’t heard of him, but Quinnipiac University guard DeMario Anderson (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJNLFZo3Nd4), whom you may recall can a half-court shot at the buzzer in overtime to defeat rival (and his former team) Central Connecticut at the buzzer, may be headed to the island of Cyprus to prolong his hoops career. Nothing’s official yet, but its word around the crackling campfire.
Looking for Anderson?
He be found on the Washington, D.C. hoop hangouts, dizzying opponents off the dribble with an arsenal of video-game, one-on-one moves. Oh, and he's got bounce, too. Just ask the University of Vermont, or the whole peanut state for that matter (my bad Young Tip, Jordan “Ron Jeremy” Tip, and DG). He shouldered much of the scoring load for the Bobcats—who, due to the still relatively recent $52 million dollar purchase of TD Banknorth Sports Complex (it’s a glitzy joint that basically sits atop a fucking mountain), is afforded the luxury of having to celebrities on his coaching staff. That’s right. Scott Burrell, who copped a ring with Jordan in the ’98 playoffs and carved a nice niche for himself with the Hornets early in his career, is an assistant coach. Luke Murray, the son of the lovable, el-smoking, thong-fiending actor Bill Murray, is the Director of Basketball Operations.
Here’s a look at some other top scorers who slipped below the radar this year:
Lester Hudson, Tennessee-Martin: The virtually uncontainable scoring machine overcame a troubled past to make his scoring prowess felt around the nation (ESPN.Com had an intriguing feature on him and his NBA draft stock). Hudson, a 6-3 guard from Memphis who sat out his first two years at UT-Martin, averaged a whopping 25.7 points per his rookie season. He hung 35 (12-25 FG) against Memphis, hit up Vanderbilt for 36 (13-26 FG), and gave Tennessee State 38 in a pulsating 10-point victory.
Charron Fisher, Niagara: The pride of Pennsauken, N.J. re-wrote the scoring record books this season, playing with a killer instinct that college hoops hasn’t seen in quite some time at that level. The 6-foot-4, 230-lb. guard/forward averaged 27.6 points and eclipsed 30 in a number of games, including a 45-point outburst in a 92-87 win the Purple Eagles stamped on Loyala Md. The senior averaged 5.6 points as a freshman, tripled his scoring average as a sophomore and has been getting buckets ever since. Don’t sleep.
Kirk Williams, Longwood: Don’t let the bony arms of this wiry, 6-foot-6 White Plains product fool you. Williams got buckets this year, to the beat of 17 per. While his numbers aren’t too jaw-dropping, the still-raw Williams hit up Virginia Wise for 29 and 10 and showed flashes of brilliance. Williams, who has been dunking a basketball in games since he was 15, should leave a lasting legacy at the Division-I Independent and hopefully put Woodlands HS (Greenburgh, N.Y.) on the map in the process.