SACRAMENTO — Jeremy Evans will be honored by the Jazz and the state of Utah prior to tipoff of Wednesday's home game against the Houston Rockets.
Considering it will be Feb. 29, the event-organizing entities believe the timing is, well, a slam dunk for the Jazz's lengthy leaper to be recognized after he jumped into the international spotlight and won the 2012 NBA Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday night in Orlando.
"It is Leap Year and he was recognized as the greatest leaper in the NBA with the dunks," Jazz president Randy Rigby told the Deseret News. "We thought it would be a fun play."
Details of Evans' event are still coming together, but Jazz brass is hopeful Utah Gov. Gary Herbert will be involved as well.
Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors, the Jazz's two participants in the rookie-sophomore Rising Stars Challenge, will also be recognized before the game.
"We celebrate our successes," Rigby said, "and it deserves to be celebrated."
Though Evans' playing time has been sparse this season, the humble and respectful second-year forward is a popular guy around the team. As such, the organization couldn't be more proud that he became the team's first-ever dunk champion.
Rigby thinks it's remarkable that Evans was able to pull it off after being a late replacement for injured Iman Shumpert of the New York Knicks.
"I think it's really a tribute to his talent and accomplishments," Rigby said.
Hayward and Favors both scored 14 points in their game, nicely representing themselves and the organization. Like Evans, Favors was a late replacement for an injured player. He replaced the Spurs' Tiago Splitter.
Evans had to part ways with the trophy he won after his three dunks, including an impressive second slam in which he jammed in two basketballs after leaping over sitting assist man Gordon Hayward.
The trophy, which had his name engraved on it, will be reunited with Evans on Wednesday.
The Western Kentucky product has received unprecedented attention from interviews since pulling off the surprising win Saturday.
Not surprisingly, Evans has also been the target of teammate teasing.
After today's shootaround, Jazz center Al Jefferson asked Evans what his first dunk was supposed to really look like. C.J. Miles jumped up and swung around on the rim a la Evans. And rookie Alec Burks, egged on by Earl Watson, told Evans that he can outjump him and jokingly challenged him to another dunk off.
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