Modesto Christian high-riser Tyler Williams could sense a lull in the gymnasium with less than five minutes left in the NorCal SportsTV senior all-star game.
“The crowd had gone dead, probably from seeing the same old thing,” Williams said of Sunday's action at Las Positas College in Livermore. “I had to spice it up a little bit … get everyone going.”
It was both sugar and spice — with a SportsCenter twist. The vibrations from Williams’ highlight jam in the Bay Area were felt in Chicago, Houston and Bristol, Conn.
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With the ball in his hand at the top of the key, Williams dove toward the bucket and then quickly stepped back behind the 3-point line. His shot fake got the defender off the ground, but with the defender’s long reach, Williams realized he wasn’t going to get a shot off.
So he reverted to a play he’d rehearsed during breaks in practice at Modesto Christian.
He flipped the ball off the backboard and flew through a wide-open lane, finishing his own rebound with a one-handed slam that has become a viral sensation.
“I didn’t plan to do it, but I have done it before in practice,” Williams admitted. “Coach (Brice Fantazia) would call for a water break and I’d throw one off the glass to myself.”
A skywalking senior, Williams has electrified home crowds for four years with his ability to play above the rim.
Now he’s Internet famous.
The video has been retweeted and commented on by rappers, athletes, bloggers and national media outlets, including SportsCenter, Yahoo Sports and Bleacher Report. Yahoo Sports called it the “most disrespectful dunk of all time."
As of Monday evening, the retweets numbered in the thousands. SportsCenter’s video had more than 14,000 retweets, while Bleacher Report had 6,100. Williams also said Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson and the Harlem Globetrotters tagged him on Twitter.
“It’s surreal,” said Williams, who averaged 12.5 points in his senior season and finished with 113 career varsity wins, second-most in program history. “I’ve seen other players blow up and go viral all the time. I never thought it would be. … It was all just kind of perfect — the shot fake, the lane and the finish. It felt clean to me.”
Williams is enjoying the attention, but he’s not content with just 15 seconds of fame.
The 6-foot-4 guard is looking forward to playing at the next level. He just hasn’t decided where. Williams holds offers from Stanislaus State, CSU Monterey Bay and Southwest Baptist University in Missouri.