University of Texas at Arlington basketball coach Scott Cross posted a video of his "Drive By Dunk Challenge" on Twitter. Courtesy of Scott Cross via Twitter
University of Texas at Arlington basketball coach Scott Cross posted a video of his "Drive By Dunk Challenge" on Twitter. Courtesy of Scott Cross via Twitter

Men's Basketball

UT Arlington basketball coach is a slam dunk in latest internet craze

By Stephen Schroats

sschroats@star-telegram.com

July 26, 2017 8:50 AM

It’s summer. It’s hot. It’s a challenge just to get out of the house.

Unless there’s a challenge.

Following in the internet tradition of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and the Mannequin Challenge, the latest online craze is called the Drive-By Dunk Challenge (#DriveByDunkChallenge).

It’s about as simple as it sounds. Cruise a neighborhood until you find a basketball hoop, throw down your best dunk, then leave. No harm, no foul.

It also helps to have a partner running video for indisputable proof of the deed, or in case something hilariously unscripted happens, like an angry dog encouraging a failed dunker to leave behind his basketball.

So who would do this?

The challenge was started last week by Instagram user @t.currie who posted videos of his impressive slams at random houses. The fun quickly was taken up by some bigger names, including NBA players Anthony Davis and Jaylen Brown as well as Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari and Boston Celtics executive Danny Ainge.

Monday night, UT Arlington basketball coach Scott Cross posted his video contribution on Twitter, and it was a smash.

For those of you wondering when I would post my #DriveByDunkChallenge, here you go! pic.twitter.com/hSeVbhaApA

— Scott Cross (@CoachScottCross) July 25, 2017

“I just watched the videos online and thought it was kind of funny,” Cross said Tuesday. “Then I saw coach Calipari do it and I figured let’s go.”

Cross, who played at UTA from 1995-98 before becoming a coach, was headed to a youth basketball game with his sons Tyler, 9, and Cody, 10, when he saw his opportunity, and added a twist.

In the video, Tyler sprints up a neighbor’s driveway and crouches down near the basket as dad leaps over him for the slam on a slightly less-than-regulation-height basket.

Cross said he wasn’t worried about jumping over his son — “he’s not that tall” — but not everyone shared dad’s confidence.

“At first, neither one of my boys wanted to get out. They said they were going to get hurt,” Cross said. “I told them if I hurt you I’ll give you $100.”

Video editing cut out the first dunk attempt, the one that ended in Cody howling foul, holding his head and demanding his bounty.

“I may have grazed his head with my shin,” Cross said, still not totally convinced.

After Tyler subbed in for his big brother, the next attempt was literally a slam dunk. Challenge met.

Father and son then scurry back to their car while Lil Jon’s Throw It Up pumps in the background. Laughs ensue.

With this crossed off his bucket list, what test could be next: “Dancing with the Stars?” “American Ninja Warrior?” “Survivor?”

“ ‘Survivor?’ ” Cross said excitedly. “That’s always been one reality TV show that I said ‘I think I could win that.’ My wife and I have watched that from the very first season. It sure would be fun to do but there’s not a lot of down time as a basketball coach.”

Hey, don’t give up the dream. Just think of it as another challenge.

Never miss a local story.

Sign up today for a free 30 day free trial of unlimited digital access.