Every once in awhile we get to witness great moments in sports history. I didn’t realize it but at the Charlotte Bobcats vs the Phoenix Suns game in Phoenix I would be courtside with the best seat in the house to see a moment that has people all around the country buzzing as the moment is played over and over on TV.

At the US Airways Center, the home of the Phoenix Suns, every game prior to the start of the fourth quarter the Verve Sol Patrol (male cheerleaders essentially) and the world famous mascot the Phoenix Suns Gorilla perform impressive dunks with the assist of a small trampoline. Its always fun to sit back and watch them do some surprisingly impressive dunks but until this night I hadn’t seen NOTHING yet!

Now before I get to the photos I should mention that I never shoot these guys as they do their tricks. I’m usually too busy joking with my fellow shooters or staring at some of the hot girls that are commonplace in the court side seats. On this night I decided I wanted to get a shot of the Suns Gorilla (I dont know why) so I decided to shoot the first member of the Sol Patrol as a test shot to get all set up to shoot the Gorilla who always goes last.

Below, Verve Sol Patrol member Nick Corrales, a student at ASU, is seconds away from becoming famous as he runs down the court and vaults off the trampoline…

Nikon D3s, 80-200mm, 3200, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

…Flying high through the air Corrales keeps his eyes on the prize as he sets up for the huge dunk that would make Blake Griffin jealous….

Nikon D3s, 80-200mm, 3200, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

….. here he goes, with his eyes locked on the rim he slams the ball through….

Nikon D3s, 80-200mm, 3200, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual


Nikon D3s, 80-200mm, 3200, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

… now here is where the fun begins as Corrales goes from keeping his eye on the rim to actually putting his eye on the rim (below)…

Nikon D3s, 80-200mm, 3200, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

……this next photo is just to show you that my old 80-200mm lens isn’t very reliable  (Houston, we have a problem)…

Nikon D3s, 80-200mm, 3200, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

….Now he looks like a butterfly coming out of its cocoon…

Nikon D3s, 80-200mm, 3200, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Kinda reminds me of this epic movie moment.

A few seconds behind Corrales was another member of the Sol Patrol who was already in the air coming at the hoop as Corrales comes out the bottom of the netting…..

Nikon D3s, 80-200mm, 3200, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

He shoots, he scores!

Nikon D3s, 80-200mm, 3200, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Now to really appreciate this moment in sports history you must see the video! (Look for the photographer in the white shirt at the base of the hoop, thats me)

Heres another angle.


Oh, I almost forgot. Here is my shot of the Phoenix Suns Gorilla.

Nikon D3s, 80-200mm, 3200, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Kinda lame compared to the previous shots eh?

Video of this human dunk has been played nonstop today all over TV so I just pray that Nick Corrales ends up on Tosh.o to receive a web redemption for this interesting moment nobody expected (especially me).

Stay tuned to my blog as February will be one of the coolest months of my life as I will be busy shooting NBA games, the Super Bowl, the Daytona 500 and finally the season opener for the NHRA!

Posted in Basketball, NBA, Sports   | 5 Comments

5 responses to “Nick Corrales shows the world how not to dunk a Ball!”

  1. soobum im says:

    Watched on TV yesterday. Good job capturing them.

  2. Maureen S. says:

    AWESOME stop-action photographs!!! Just incredible he didn’t hit his head on anything, either the rim or the backboard and was able to grab the rim and lower himself down. This has to be a once-in-a-lifetime event in sports history, and you were in a great spot to take these amazing pictures!

  3. Maureen S. says:

    Plus how incredible that this night you decided to take some test shots of the first shooter, having NO IDEA that you were about to record one of the most incredible moments in sports in our lifetime! It’s one of those “you were meant to be there” times. Plus you did get a beautiful shot of our gorilla!

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark J. Rebilas, Sure Shot Photo. Sure Shot Photo said: Nick Corrales shows the world how not to dunk a Ball! http://markjrebilas.com/blog3/?p=11151 […]

  5. Donna says:

    Thank you for publishing the most amazing pictures of my son Nick. It was a miracle that he didn’t get seriously injured and I thank God for that every day. Never in his wildest dreams/nightmares did he think something like this would ever happen. This was just one of his two jobs that he was working to earn money to pay for college. I think he’s hoping that his 15 minutes of fame will end soon so he can get back to the business of getting his education. Thanks again, the images are tremendous.
    Donna Corrales

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