ZINIO logo

Slam April/May 2021

Slam is the fastest way to bring home the entire world of hoops from playgrounds to high schools, college and the NBA.

Read More
United States
SLAM Media Inc.
6 Issues

in this issue

8 min
ready to go

His bags were all packed. It’s the moment he had been waiting for ever since he visited the campus for a second time—the trip that sealed the deal and helped him make up his mind about attending Gonzaga. Jalen Suggs was ready to head out to the Northwest for summer workouts, to officially be on campus as a student. But then both of his parents tested positive for COVID-19. The health scare pushed his arrival timeline back. And so, while top recruits at many of the country’s top programs were already on campus, getting acclimated to the next level and partaking in newly implemented and individualized strength and conditioning regimens, Suggs found himself isolated at home for what felt like forever. “Everybody else got here like a month before I did…

4 min
hollywood takeover

IF THERE’S ONE THING to know about Raven Johnson, it’s that she doesn’t go by Raven, she goes by “Hollywood.” A nickname bestowed upon her by her AAU coach early on, it’s one that perfectly reflects who the Georgia hoops star is on and off the court: a flashy point guard, whose game is filled with a top-tier layup package, out of this world dimes and even lobs off the backboard to her teammates. Raven “Hollywood” Johnson is a show that no one should miss. Her journey through basketball begins with her grandfather, who first inspired her to pick up the ball early on. He sadly passed away in 2016 from cancer, but he’s always in Raven’s heart, and she even keeps a picture of him on her phone’s home screen. “He’s…

7 min
on top

THIS IS the “Future Issue,” so the timing couldn’t be better to talk about who’s got next for the Toronto Raptors: power forward Chris Boucher. The lanky St. Lucian-born big has a great feel for the game, a non-stop motor and an impressive touch from deep. If he becomes Toronto’s best player in three seasons, we won’t be shocked. In a January 8 contest against Sacramento, Boucher was his typically efficient self—23 points, 10 boards and 2-4 from long distance. His most memorable highlight of the night, though, was an emphatic block against Marvin Bagley III. It was probably the best moment of the game, and so it became a Moment, literally; a platform called NBA Top Shot, owned by a company called Dapper Labs, immortalized the block by minting it…

2 min
calling dibbs

THE PAST, present and future––a true fan feels all three. We romanticize the heroes of our past, agonize over the wins and losses of today, and get excited for the talent of tomorrow. A casual fan may not understand, but trading cards epitomizes this aspect of sports fandom perfectly. We look back on vintage cards and remember the athletes who inspired us to shoot for the stars. We survey today’s talent and decide which players personify our ideals in a competitor. We watch young talent preparing for the draft and speculate on which player’s value is going to shoot up over his or her career. Your trading card collection is both a piece of insight into who you are as a fan as well as an investment that leverages your…

13 min
the man who could see the future

LEGENDARY basketball scout Tom Konchalski died from prostate cancer on February 8 at the age of 74. His passing prompted heartfelt obituaries while social media overflowed with tributes from many of the literally thousands of players, coaches, fans and media members whose lives were touched by this great man. I was honored to be assigned a piece on the devoutly Catholic Mr. Konchalski in this, the “Future Issue” of the basketball bible. A native of Queens, NY, Konchalski followed in his brother Steve’s footsteps as a strong student at local Archbishop Molloy High School. While Steve was a standout basketball player who played college ball in Canada before becoming a Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame coach at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, the 6-6 Tom focused more on watching…

5 min
double team

THE ACC AND Big East have historically been known as two of the most competitive conferences in college hoops history. Leading either of these leagues in any major statistical category is no easy task. For the Champagnie family, though, it’s all they’ve known this season. Twins Justin and Julian have done literally just that in both conferences this year during their sophomore seasons. Justin, a 6-6 forward at Pittsburgh, leads the ACC in scoring (18.8 points) and rebounding (11.4 boards) as this issue heads to press. Meanwhile, Julian, a 6-8 forward at St. John’s, leads the Big East in scoring with 20.0 points per game as of late February. This marks the first time that two siblings lead two different conferences in scoring at the same time. The Champagnie brothers—who hail from…