The Rise of Mac McClung

Reviewing the Recent Viral Sensation and Dunk Specialist


Mac McClung, a 24-year-old guard, surprised many when he was chosen to headline the 2023 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. Despite having played only two NBA games, McClung impressed everyone with an outstanding performance that silenced critics who had mocked the league for not inviting bigger stars to participate.

McClung’s abilities as a dunker are well-known, as he started dunking while playing for Gate City High School in Virginia, where he quickly became an internet sensation with over 821,000 followers on Instagram. In 2018, he won the Ball is Life All-American Dunk Contest in impressive style, beating out NBA guard Kevin Porter Jr. and Shareef O’Neal, the son of NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal.

Although McClung was more than just a dunker, his scoring numbers were incredible in his final two high school seasons. McClung, who is arguably one of the greatest high school basketball players, has a mesmerizing highlight tape. What made this highlight tape so special was McClung’s ability to dunk the ball with such ease and creativity.

Throughout the tape, you can see McClung throwing down some of the most impressive dunks ever captured on camera. From windmill dunks to between-the-legs slams, he could do it all. Not only did he have an amazing vertical leap, but he also had incredible body control and creativity when it came to his dunks. He was also an excellent shooter and had a quick first step that allowed him to get to the rim with ease. His combination of athleticism and skill made him a dominant force on the basketball court.

After averaging 29 points per game as a junior and scoring 47 in the Virginia state championship game as a senior, he decided to play for Patrick Ewing at Georgetown, de-committing from Rutgers.

During his time at Georgetown, McClung made an immediate impact, averaging over 13 points per game as a freshman. However, his sophomore year did not go as planned, as the Hoyas went 15-17, and he missed 11 games. After declaring for the 2020 NBA Draft and announcing a transfer to Texas Tech, his assists average actually decreased from 2.4 to 2.1 per game.

McClung’s journey led him to sign a Summer League deal with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2021, earning him a two-way deal, but he was eventually waived and signed to a G League contract. He played one NBA game with the Lakers and another with the Chicago Bulls, but neither team re-signed him, making him a free agent.

McClung landed with the Delaware Blue Coats, the Philadelphia 76ers’ G League affiliate, where he proved himself as a playmaker, averaging 5.8 assists per game in both of his G League seasons. This performance led the 76ers to sign him to a two-way deal that allows him to suit up for Philadelphia when needed.

McClung’s performance in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest was outstanding, and he managed to join the ranks of NBA legends such as Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter in one night. Despite being a relatively unknown player, McClung has proven that he is a force to be reckoned with on the court.

Featured Image Courtesy of DraftKings Nation