Rare images of the first dunk competition won by Kobe Bryant at 15 years old (video)

Before becoming a great player, Kobe Bryant was above all a great dunker. Winner of the Dunk Contest in the 1997 All-Star Game, the Mamba had already shone a few years earlier in high school. SportsCenter recovered the video from the Kobe festival.


If we had to summarize Kobe Bryant in a few gestures, we would surely evoke his legendary fadeaway, inspired by Michael Jordan, or his many successful 3-point shots in the clutch moments.

But an element of his game is sometimes relegated to the background: his ability to dunk on anything that comes before him. Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, Gerald Wallace, all had the honor of being posterized by the Mamba.

In fact, his huge track record includes a « Dunk Contest winner » line. It was 1997, he was only 18, and his performance had officially placed him on all NBA fan radars.

What is less well known, however, is that « Bean » had already performed in a dunk contest before. It was in the privacy of his high school, but the highlights are clear, young Kobe was flying.

So yeah, we’re a long way from what high school kids can do today. At 15, Kobe Bryant was far less spectacular than was Zion Williamson, for example. But for the time, what he offers is quite mind-blowing. Moreover, between the high school student and the rookie who will win in 1997, there is a match.


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