AllSportsTucson.com’s Anthony Gimino contributed to this report
Sean Miller has a price. And that price, not surprisingly, is defense.
Arizona held its Red-Blue Game on Friday night — honoring its 1997 national championship team, putting Miles Simon’s No. 34 jersey in the rafters, recognizing other great alums from the WAC and Border conference era and hosting a who’s who of college basketball recruits — but the highlight of the night came in the dunk contest.
Arizona freshman wing Rawle Alkins, a New York kid showing that he has no fear, won the dunk competition with the help of his coach.
With Miller holding the ball over his head, Alkins ran down the baseline, leaped with his legs spread, cleared Miller’s head and dunked the ball through the hoop behind his back.
All of Arizona’s players rushed the court to congratulate Alkins while Miller looked somewhat relieved the dunk went well.
.@Iam_RawleAlkins just dunked on Sean Miller. This is not a drill.
“He actually started to talk to me about this about a month ago and, of course, I filed it away, and I forgot about it,” Miller said.
“He reminded me two weeks ago, and then after shoot-around, he waited for me and I thought something was wrong. All of a sudden I looked at him and you could tell he was about ready to ask me for a third.”
“I said, “OK, I’ll do it on one condition. If you let me coach you really hard on defense and make you play defense, I’ll do it.’ He said, ‘Deal.'”
In the intra-squad exhibition, Alkins made 6 of 9 shots, finishing with 15 points as he made several strong moves to the basket.
The dunk contest judges were legendary Arizona center Bob Elliott along with members of the 1996-97 championship that was honored during the event — Miles Simon, Mike Bibby, A.J. Bramlett and Bennett Davison.
Other competitors in the dunk contest included freshmen Lauri Markkanen and Kobi Simmons.
Hey, Rawle Alkins gets No. 5 on the SportsCenter top 10 tonight for his dunk over Sean Miller
Dunk contest judges (left to right): Mike Bibby, Bob Elliott, Miles Simon, A.J. Bramlett & Bennett Davison. Bet Davison could still compete pic.twitter.com/hCxUisD2TE
ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.