Newcastle Eagles high flyer Kadiri Richard was crowned dunk champion at the NIA in Birmingham ahead of the BBL Cup Final after seeing off stiff competition from Stefan Gill to claim the coveted 2011 trophy.
Arriving in Birmingham proudly wearing his Newcastle United shirt (a must for all Newcastle fans on a big derby day against Sunderland), he admitted there was only ever one aim on his near four hundred mile round trip.
“This was all about bringing the BBL Dunk Championship back to the Toon!” explained Richard.
“I was second last year when I was representing the Thunder and I wanted to go one better this year and that is exactly what happened!”
“I have to admit that I didn’t do too much planning beforehand. I was trying to improvise as I went along according to what the others were doing although obviously I did think about some options a little bit last night.”
“It’s tough because you don’t really want to show your best too early but you have to do enough to make sure that you make it to the Final.”
Richard thrilled the crowd with two particularly memorable dunks as he flew high over an advertising board to throw it down and another artistic jam when he flew over a photographer who caught one of the snaps of the day.
Richard also took time to his main rival Stefan Gill who had the crowd on his side due to both the mismatch in size and because of some great dunks.
“His hops are absolutely amazing and it’s always tough to go up against a guard in these competitions as they naturally get the crowd whipped up and on their size.”
“He was a great competitor and it was a great event and great fun for the guys who took part and I am sure for those who were watching it in the Arena.”
Clutching his trophy and golden Molten basketball as he headed back to Tyneside, Richard continues his superb start to 2011 with his improved performances having coincided with the recent red-hot form of the Eagles since the festive break