Before Jan. 6, there hadn’t been anything remarkable about Chief Sealth High School (Seattle, Wash.) basketball player Hafid Yassin‘s senior season. The lanky 6-foot-5 guard was a good athlete on a last-place team, averaging a solid but unspectacular 10 points per game, facing the high likelihood that this would be his final season of organized hoops.
And even on the day that changed his senior season, his athletic future and potentially his life, Yassin’s team would suffer a 41-point loss to Garfield H.S., the top-ranked team in the state of Washington.
But in one moment late in that blowout loss, Yassin became an overnight sensation. His alley-oop dunk, which he caught from teammate Ahmed Mohammed and skied over Garfield’s defense before throwing it down with his head above the rim, was captured on video and quickly went viral. The dunk was the No. 1 play of the night on ESPN’s “Sportscenter” and made its way onto pretty much every basketball website relevant to high school hoops and dunking.
Now college coaches are reportedly interested in Yassin, perhaps offering the Somali-American teenager an opportunity to play basketball or compete in track and field (in the high jump, of course) on the next level. Here’s a local news feature on Yassin and the dunk that changed everything: