High Hoops

If you've never heard of Gary Smith, it's safe to say you probably don't hang out at local outdoor basketball courts much. The 23-year-old South Phoenix streetballer is something of a local legend, whose thunderous dunks can be seen being unleashed at playgrounds around the Valley or via numerous video clips on YouTube.

While it's unlikely that he'll ever sport an NBA championship ring (or even land a contract with basketball's big leagues), the 6-foot-6 jock has one claim to fame: He's the local champ of Red Bull King of the Rock. During last year's edition of the energy drink-sponsored one-on-one streetball tournament, Smith defeated 63 other Phoenix hoopsters and made it to the national finals on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco.

Smith will be back to defend his crown (and take another crack at the nationals) during the 2011 version of the event.

Sat., Aug. 27, 5 p.m., 2011
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.