Jan 13, 2014
They say you never forget your first dunk.
Panther Creek senior Nubian Spann will likely never forget his. During a home game on Friday night against Apex, Spann got his first career dunk on a fastbreak alley oop.
"I was running the break and I saw Nubian out of the left side of my eye and he pointed up for the ball," Panther Creek point guard Juan Munoz said.
When Munoz lobbed the pass to Spann, head coach L.J. Hepp didn't see what was coming.
"When Juan went to throw the pass, I remember thinking in my head, 'He must see something that I don't,'" Hepp said.
No one could have seen what was about to happen.
"I just put all my weight up in the air," Spann said, reenacting the dunk on Saturday afternoon.
All his weight was enough to break the backboard. As Spann dunked the ball, the glass shattered, and rim bent, and the support beam buckled. It sent shards of glass raining down on the floor.
"I didn't know what happened, everything just stopped. I turned around and glass was on the floor and I had glass on me," said Spann.
Spann had cuts from his neck down to his legs, but didn't require any serious medical treatment. The gym, however, was not so lucky.
Chunks of glass were still stuck in the wooden floor the next day, and the damage to the goal didn't permit the game to continue. The game was suspended in the second quarter with the Catamounts leading 20-14 after Spann's dunk.
Repairs to the goal and the floor are underway this week, and Panther Creek and Apex hope to finish where they left off by the end of the week, possibly as early as Thursday.
Friday's portion of the game was enough to earn media attention from around the world.
"My phone started blowing up. I couldn't even text on it," Spann said.
ESPN's SportsCenter picked up the play and named it the top play of the night in the SportsCenter Top Ten. That kicked off a whirlwind of attention for Spann and for Panther Creek.
"Nubian's father has friends has friends overseas and they were calling him saying, 'Hey, is that your son?'," said Hepp.
The coverage from the media has been focused on Spann, who was given the nickname "The Hulk" by his teammates earlier this season, but he says it's not just about him.
"All this attention, not just for me but for the school and for the players on the team, it's amazing. They're all on the map right now," Spann said.
Panther Creek's basketball team is 13-1 this season, and is ranked No. 3 in the HighSchoolOT.com Triangle Top 12 Poll.