Truman's Najee Williams one step away from national dunk contest final

Bill Althaus
The Examiner
Truman's Najee Williams throws down a dunk in a Phog Allen Invitational semifinal against Raytown Wednesday at William Chrisman High School. Williams scored 19 points and had a pair of thunderous dunks but the Patriots fell 62-48 to the Blue Jays.

Najee Williams is asking for your help.

The 6-foot-3 Truman High School senior forward has advanced to the semifinal round of the American Family Dream Fearlessly Slam Dunk Contest, which would pave the way for Williams to participate in a slam dunk contest at halftime of the NCAA Final Four national championship game in Indianapolis.

Williams currently trails Tyler Kindberg of Worthington Charter High School in Lewis Center, Ohio, 51-49% in the semifinals. If he can win this round, he heads to Indianapolis for the finals.

Participants may vote once a day until March 10. To vote, go to: www.amfam.com/sponsorships/highschool-slam/fan-vote

Williams won the quarterfinal online vote last week against Luke Easley of Beth Haven High School in Louisville, Kentucky.

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“It’s all so exciting,” said Williams, who is also hoping to reach the Class 5 final four in basketball this season as his Patriots are making a strong postseason run.

“I don’t think about the slam dunk contest all the time, because I’m more focused on us making a deep run into the playoffs,” Williams added, “but it’s hard not to think about it because everywhere I go in school teachers and my friends are coming up to me saying, ‘I voted for you today.’ And I appreciate that so much.”

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Williams is hoping to make the trip to Indianapolis to represent both Truman and his community.

“I want to represent Truman High School and let everyone know how great Truman and Independence are,” Williams said. “I love this town, my team and my school and I hope to get to Indianapolis to let everyone know how great they are.”

Williams is averaging 20.3 points per game for the Patriots, who play Liberty Friday night for the Class 6 District 15 title.

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