Milford, Conn. – (February 9, 2010) Former United States Basketball League (USBL) player Spud Webb will be featured in an upcoming show on TNT as part of it’s 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend coverage. Dunk Defying: Spud & Nate will air on TNT Saturday, February 13th at 6:00 P. M. EST. The show documents the return of the Slam Dunk Contest to Dallas-the site where Spud Webb won the event in 1986 less than a year removed from playing in the USBL. In doing so, Webb became a cult hero to average basketball fans and future undersized NBA players. With over 20 exclusive interviews and historic footage, including classic USBL video, Dunk Defying traces the journeys of Spud and Nate Robinson from playground outcasts to NBA Slam Dunk Champions.
Following his college career at North Carolina State, Webb played for the Rhode Island Gulls during the USBL’s inaugural season in 1985. Playing alongside Manute Bol and John “Hot Rod” Williams, Webb averaged 19.9 points, 6.1 assists and 3.0 steals per game. After his showing in the USBL, Webb would eventually try out for the Atlanta Hawks where he would finally “graduate” into the NBA. In an interview for Dunk Defying, Webb reflects on his USBL roots:
"I think it was the first year the USBL started up. It was me, Manute Bol, all of us project players. John Williams that played at LSU. All three of us were on the same team and every day there was a scout coming in looking at one of us. Playing in the USBL with Manute was a riot because you laughed twenty-four hours. He’s the funniest guy you’d ever meet in your life. I think there weren’t too many years in the states so there’s a lot of stuff that didn’t register or understood. He was fun to be around. We were in Newport, Rhode Island playing in the USBL."
Kevin Stacom, former Boston Celtic and currently a scout for the Dallas Mavericks, coached Webb during the 1985 USBL season. During his interview, Spud acknowledges the role Stacom played in developing him for the NBA:
"Kevin was great. He was coming from all those great years with the Celtics. I think what brought us to Kevin was that all three of us guys were kind of laid back guys and Kevin is about as laid back as it gets. He just coached us the way he knew and tried to tell us what to expect from the NBA and what the NBA scouts were expecting us to go out and do. At the same time he was trying to win games. So it was pretty funny but we had such good guys that could play that it was pretty easy."
The program will air just before the 2010 NBA Slam Dunk Contest and will also include segments with Stacom and others such as Tyronne “Muggsy” Bogues who would play for the Rhode Island Gulls himself in 1987 before reaching the NBA.