Nick Bowers Dunk Is My Motivation


Penn State tight end Nick Bowers, I hereby declare that you are the third person to whom I dedicate my next dunk — which will also be my first in many, many years.

I recently set a goal to regain the ability to dunk a basketball, which I could do as a 17-year-old. Thanks to a steady college diet of cheap, domestic beer and carne asada burritos at 2 a.m. I lost the ability almost immediately into my freshman year.

During a conversation with my dad, he regaled me with stories of his days playing college basketball, and told me about his own long-lost ability to dunk. I realized then I had never seen him do so. He was in his 30s when I was born, and despite coaching the game, had long since stopped playing with any regularity.

My dad’s one of the two people before Bowers to whom I’m dedicating this dunk.

Now at my lightest weight since freshman year, and in my best physical shape since garnering a handful of small-school offers as a high school senior, I dedicated myself to a new goal: ensuring my own son would see my dunk with his own two.

He’s the first honoree. But Penn State’s own, Nick Bowers? No. 3.

Barely able to graze the rim as of a few months ago, I understand the challenge before me. There will be days I just don’t want to hit the squat rack or do calf raises. In those moments, I’ll fire up Monday’s clip of Bowers leap-frogging a teammate to throw one down.

Here’s the footage via Nittany Lions running back Saquon Barkley:

Admittedly, every dunk I ever managed to put down was weak, which Bowers’ most certainly wasn’t. My next dunk will look nothing like that, because I’m not a finally conditioned, Div. I athlete.

But I am also not pushing 270 pounds, like Bowers. To be able to actually jump over someone at that size requires astounding athleticism — and some real trust from the dunkee.

Thank you for the inspiration and motivation. When the fateful day comes, hopefully before the conclusion of this upcoming college football season, I will post video here on