A slam dunk, also simply known as dunk, is a type of basketball shot that is performed when a player jumps in the air, controls the ball above the horizontal plane of the rim, and scores by shoving the ball directly through the basket with one or both hands. It is a type of field goal that is worth two points. Such a shot was known as a "dunk shot" until the term "slam dunk" was coined by former Los Angeles Lakers announcer Chick Hearn.The slam dunk is usually the highest percentage shot and a crowd-pleaser. Thus, the maneuver is often taken from the basketball game and showcased in slam dunk contests such as the NBA Slam Dunk Contest held during the annual NBA All-Star Weekend. The first incarnation of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest was held during the half-time of the 1976 American Basketball Association All-Star Game.
Dunking was banned in the NCAA and high school sports from 1967 to 1976. Many people have attributed the ban to the dominance of the college phenomenon Lew Alcindor (now known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar); the no-dunking rule is sometimes referred to as the "Lew Alcindor rule." Others, as a conspiracy theory, have attributed the ban to racial motivations, as at the time most of the prominent dunkers in college basketball were African-American, and the ban took place less than a year after a Texas Western team with an all-black starting lineup beat an all-white Kentucky team to win the national championship. Under head coach Guy Lewis, Houston (with Elvin Hayes) made considerable use of the "stuff" shot on their way to the Final Four in 1967.

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