In all of the basketball I have watched in my lifetime, only two players have made me want to show up early to a game, just so that I could watch the layup line. The first was Paul McPherson at the 2000 Rocky Mountain Revue in Utah. The second was Nate Robinson at the 2005 Vegas Summer League. Blessed with 40-plus-inch verticals and insane creativity, both were sure to treat the crowd to mini-dunk contests during each pregame warmup.
After watching the 24th annual Dolphin Basketball Classic over the weekend, I’m proud to add a third person to my prestigeous, yet insignificant list.
If you don’t know who Kevin Kemp aka “The Golden Child” of the famed Team Flight Brothers is, you need to find your way to YouTube stat. Reppin’ the Seattle-based Home Team squad, the 21-year-old Tacoma (WA) native was the talk of Dolphin from the second he graced the crowd with his pregame theatrics Friday night.
By the time the weekend came to a close and he had taken down the dunk contest (see video, ’nuff said), Kemp was treated like he was in the League. Kids, women and grown men were stalking KK for autographs and pictures. And this was a guy that racked up a couple DNPs and probably averaged 6 ppg (mostly on dunks naturally) for the Home Team. Obviously style points count for something.
I know I am teetering on the line of overhyping the dude, but I have honestly never seen anybody jump or dunk like him in my whole life. I posted the vids, so you be the judge. But before he shut down the dunk contest on Sunday, I sat down with Golden Child for a little Q&A the day before.
Bounce: How’d you hear about the Dolphin?
Kevin Kemp: Through my dude Ed (Haskins – Home Team’s coach who also Pat Rileys Garfield HS in Seattle). He put me on, he was like, ‘yo there’s this big ass tournament, it’s like at the Rucker or whatever, but it’s just in Canada.’ He’s like ‘you trying to come out?’ I was like, ‘yeah I got you.’ Came out here through my dude Ed, people like that. Knew a couple of dudes on the team.
Bounce: The Battle of the Lake Tournament is going on in Seattle this weekend too. Why did you opt to do Dolphin instead?
KK: Battle of the Lake is gettin’ too easy (chuckles). Competition out there is the same and I’m used to seeing what I seen – I like seeing new stuff.
Bounce: Give the readers a little background of yourself.
KK: I’m from Tacoma, WA. Gettin’ ready to go overseas and play in London. You see me, I play with Team Flight Brothers. You know, I’m Golden Child, just in case anybody didn’t know.
Bounce: Tell me about the hops. When did you start flushing?
KK: Seventh grade, I started dunking. I was a midget, had a growth spurt in ninth grade. So I was short man.
Bounce: So what are we talking. Like 5-4?
KK: Naw, not like that. Like 5-6, 5-7.
Bounce: Can you tell the readers what your vertical is?
KK: Naw, I can’t do that. I don’t know. It’s something crazy right now.
Bounce: What’s the deal with Team Flight Brothers. Are you still associated with them?
KK: Oh of course! That’s my peoples. That’s my family right there, my other brothers.
Bounce: You’ve got to do a lot of events with them around the globe. Where were some of your favorite places?
KK: I like going to Paris. Going to Paris with them is a lovely thing. They treat Americans well over there, I’ll just put it like that.
Bounce: So you wouldn’t mind playing pro ball there?
KK: Oh man. I would love to!
Bounce: I know you’ve had plenty. But give me your sickest game dunk and contest dunk ever.
KK: Uh. one game? I was in Seattle at the Rainier Beach Community Center like a month ago. My boy Travis shot a jumper and I windmilled off the jumper. Doo! (Kemp makes a windmill motion with arms) My favority dunk of all time, was my 360 behind the back.
Bounce: What’s next for you?
KK: I got to London next month. Actually I go to South Africa on the 29th with Team Flight Brothers.
Bounce: And last question, are you going to grace us on Sunday at the dunk contest?
KK: (smiles) I’ll see what I can do.