It's been more than two decades since I became obsessed with Vince Carter as a high school freshman. This "Diamond from Daytona" and "High Riser" (It was still cool to like Dick Vitale then) captured my imagination upon arriving at UNC to the point that I got his Tar Heel-blue jersey as a birthday present. Sadly, I couldn't take it with me to college when I attended ACC rival Wake Forest, but it always had a special place in my closet at home.
Carter dazzled with each college game he played, turning even missed dunks into spectacular highlights. This didn't change after he entered the NBA, becoming the league's most electric player and solidifying his status as the GOAT dunker in the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest. Well, flash forward 18 years and Vince Carter is still pulling off 360 dunks as he approaches a 42nd birthday in January. Sure, it's in a layup line, and it's not as explosive as in his youth, but seriously, this is incredible:
The craziest part is it still looks pretty effortless. Carter always loved spinning clockwise on 360s and he appeared to jump in the air and then decide to do them. He also could rotate 360 degrees and then do a full windmill like he did in that famed dunking exhibition during the 2000 All-Star Game. Heck, there are six-minute YouTube compilations and top-10 countdowns of just Carter's 360 dunks. What an athletic marvel.
Anyway, Carter is now on the Atlanta Hawks, his presence part of the reason I said they'd be a fun team to watch this season despite compiling what's expected to be an awful record. But watching them in person will be even better. A certain middle-aged man among boys can still put on a show during warmups.