It was after finding out that there weren’t enough people to participate in a UCLA student dunk contest that West Torrance High School alumnus and UCLA applied mathematics/computer science student, Kevin Wei, decided to put his inner Russel Westbrook on display.
Knowing he would have to at least practice a bit before he’d be wowing the crowd at the UCLA athletics welcome rally, Wei was over at Pauley Pavilion an hour prior to the dunk contest, practicing on a lowered rim. That was when he bumped into three of the most talked about athletes in today’s college hoops: Lonzo Ball, TJ Leaf, and Ike Anigbogu.
At the time, Wei had no clue how unbelievably talented these three college freshmen were, but knew they were all part of the UCLA Basketball team. So Wei, just like any other baller, challenged Ball to a friendly dunk contest.
Now, this was before Ball took the helm at UCLA, before he averaged 14.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 7.6 assists per game. This was before Ball was held in contention for potentially being the No. 1 all-around 2017 NBA Draft pick, so hey, why not challenge a 6-foot-6 guy to a dunk contest? So Wei and Ball cut to the chase and went hop against hop making some insane posters.
Leaf, also a UCLA basketball player, recorded the dunk frenzy, and Wei posted it on his YouTube channel.
The first dunk starts with Wei practicing a simple dunk after being fed the ball from Ball. The pace soon shifts as both were ready to go at it one on one. For the second dunk, Ball got a rolling start and soars through the air as Wei attempts to block him. Ball’s height and large wingspan lets him jump a few feet away from the basket, throwing in a power jam, and making a neat poster of a helpless Wei.
Of course no favor goes unrepaid, so Wei attempts to keep the show going with a third dunk. Wei, also with a rolling start bounces the ball up and gets Ball in the air, attempting to block Wei. But Wei goes up and under Ball’s attempted block and leaves him in the dust with a sweet dunk.
Wei modestly said, “Ball was probably only half-trying the one time I got a dunk on him.”
Ball being a tad embarrassed kept the pace going and returned Wei’s dunk with another of his own. Running in, Ball jumps from more than a few feet away from the rim and slams in a an epic windmill. With the cheering from players watching, the dunk contest came to a close.
After Ball dunked on him, Wei remarked, “Now I know I’m not NBA worthy.” He went further to say, “I couldn’t even defend him [Ball] due to his sheer athleticism and size.”
This video is episode three of a vlog series that Wei began called “Ballin’ on a Budget.” As Wei puts it himself, “I want to show people [who] you don’t need to spend a ton of money to have a good time.”
In the first episode, Wei and his friends go out dirt biking in the mountains after a plane ride with an astounding view. The second episode shows Wei getting a taste of the luxurious lifestyle of flying in a private jet, as his friend and pilot, Demetrius Ingram, flies him on a chartered flight to Las Vegas.
At the end of each video, Wei even shows a breakdown of his budget, again, driving home the fact that all these spectacular things were done while keeping money in mind.
Wei said, “I think the biggest thing you have to keep in mind is that you just have to go out, be outgoing, and meet people. Even if you just talk to one random person each day, you never know who you’ll come across. Inevitably, you’ll end up doing cool things!”
Be sure to check out Wei’s YouTube channel, KevinWeiTV, for more unique content and for more episodes of “Ballin’ on a Budget.”