On Tuesday, July 11 an unbelievably exciting show “Ghetto Kings of Air” was held in the very heart of Riga, Latvia. World’s best slam dunk professionals competed in an uncommon location such as one of the the newly renovated Riga Central Market’s buildings. With a few thousand fans and spectators on spot as well as a carefully selected jury of past NBA players, the event was set out to succeed. This year Chris „Hoopstar” Staples took the King of Air title back home to USA.
A selected few of world’s most glorified slam dunk masters faced each other during the competition. New school dunking master – CJ Champion from Florida, USA was joined by some more seasoned vets and living legends in the art of dunking a basketball in extraordinary ways. Jordan „Take Flight” Southerland, the current champ Chris „Hoopstar” Staples and the champion of the second installment of „The Dunk King” – Guy Dupuy. Ukraine was represented by Vadim „Miller” Paddubchenko, Lithuania by Gediminas Žitlinskas and the Poland by both Arek Pržibilsky and Peter Grabo! All these contestants faced the two time champion of the „Kings of Air” event – Jordan „Mission Impossible” Kiliganon from Canada.
The performance of the athletes was judged by thousands of spectators, as well as a very respectable jury – a local legend and former NBA basketball player Andris Biedriņš, Latvia’s national team players Anžejs Pacečniks and Jānis Blūms, former Utah Jazz player and current president of the Russian basketball federation Andrey Kirilenko, as well as the president of the Latvian Basketball Association Valdis Voins.
"What helped me to win was the consistency of my performance - I did not waste any time and stuck to what I know best - my style!" Chris Staples acknowledged after the victory. He admits that dunking is no longer an everyday thing for him. Now he is more focused on perfecting his technique in other aspects of the basketball game.
"Each dunk performed in the first round of the competition was better than the one’s in finals three years ago!” The leader of the Ghetto Games movement Raimonds Elbakjans, was delighted with the mastery of the championship participants.
Andris Morozovs, the head of the Riga Central Market, was overwhelmed by the fact that the history of sports was recorded at the Riga Central Market. Many decades ago this same building has gathered members of a hockey championship and now this – the world’s most notorious slam dunk event right here in the very heart of Riga, Latvia!
Ghetto “Kings of Air” 2017 was a free event to visit for all spectators. There was no entrance fee what so ever. Those who could not arrive in the capital of Latvia on July 11 could witness the live stream of the whole event.
The event is organized by Ghetto Games - the largest street sports and culture movement in Eastern Europe. The movement stands for a physically and mentally healthy lifestyle and it gathers up to 12 000 unique participants each year and more than 200 000 spectators at events and activities hosted by their team. The prime values of the Ghetto movement are love, friendship and compassion.
This year at the Kings of Air we will have many new dunkers in Riga.
On July 11 at 7 PM local time the world’s most celebrated slam dunk competition will take place in an unusual surrounding – a newly renovated pavilion in the Riga Central market. This will be the fifth consecutive year the event takes place in Riga, Latvia, and this year it’s gathering 10 top athletes from around the world:
The new school dunking master – CJ Champion from Florida, USA will be joined by some more seasoned vets and living legends in the art of dunking a basketball in extraordinary ways. Jordan „Take Flight” Southerland, Chris Staples and the champion of the second installment of „The Dunk King” – Guy Dupuy. Ukraine will be represented by Vadim „Miller” Paddubchenko, Lithuania by Gediminas Žitlinskas ! Two dunkers will represent Poland - Peter Grabo and Arek Aro Przybylski. Ivars Rihards Žvīgurs - will represent Latvia in this contest. All these contestants will have to face the two time champion of Ghetto Kings of Air – Jordan „Mission Impossible” Kiliganon from Canada.