Mac McClung, who has played in only 4 NBA games, out to prove he’s more than a dunker: ‘I’m not here to quit’


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Mac McClung‘s name is making the rounds again after yet another stellar performance on the basketball court.

But it was again a performance of his dunking prowess as the 24-year-old won the Slam Dunk Contest for the second year in a row over the weekend.

McClung was a top prospect out of high school, but the skill never materialized while in college; he played at both Georgetown and Texas Tech.


Mac McClung dunks

Mac McClung of the Osceola Magic dunks the ball over Shaquille O’Neal during the AT&T Slam Dunk Contest as a part of State Farm All-Star Saturday Night on Feb. 17, 2024, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. (Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)

But his insane hops earned him bids in back-to-back slam dunk competitions. His dunks went viral last year, and he won a close contest with Jaylen Brown on Saturday.

McClung’s basketball legacy at this point, though, is pretty much being a G Leaguer who can jump high. And he wants to change that label.

“Obviously, I know who I am as a basketball player. I don’t think it’s over. I don’t think my basketball journey is over. I want to play in the NBA, and I believe I will,” he told Fox News Digital in a recent interview.

“I’m going to keep going, I’m not here to quit. This isn’t the ending chapter for me.”

But if things don’t go exactly how he wants, he says he’ll be just fine.

“This is my human experience. I embrace it. I’m a lucky dude. I’m very blessed,” he said.

With that being said, it makes sense McClung wasn’t yet ready to commit to a third-straight slam dunk contest.

Mac McClung waves

Osceola Magic’s Mac McClung waves after winning the slam dunk competition at the NBA’s All-Star weekend, Feb. 17, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)


“I just need to feel it and make sure it’s where my heart’s at. I’m not sure yet,” he said. “I’m not saying I won’t, but there are times where I see the balance in it and see if it works out.”

McClung currently plays for the Osceola Magic, the G League affiliate of the Orlando Magic. Fittingly, his final dunk was over NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, who just had his number retired by the organization. The Hall of Famer is a foot taller than the 6-foot-2 McClung, making it a “nerve-wracking” dunk.

“He told me I better not miss it. He said if he put my [high school] jersey on, I couldn’t miss it,” McClung said. “I was like, ‘Alright, I’ll try my best.'”

Mac McClung and Shaq

Osceola Magic’s Mac McClung is greeted by Shaquille O’Neal at the slam dunk competition during the NBA’s All-Star weekend, Feb. 17, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)


Now, like O’Neal, McClung is becoming a local favorite in Orlando – he worked at the drive-thru in the city’s Raising Cane’s on Tuesday afternoon.

“This was one of my favorite things last year after the contest,” McClung said of the time he did it near Philadelphia last year. “I’m super excited to get back and eat some chicken tenders.”

McClung has appeared in NBA games with the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers.

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