Belle Vernon’s Pohlot takes part in national slam dunk competition
Thursday, February 13, 2020 | 6:46 PM
When Mitchell Pohlot rises to meet the rim for slam dunk, his thought process is simple.
“I usually don’t think much, but I tell myself to get up there and finish the dunk, regardless of what is happening” said Pohlot, a 6-foot-5 senior forward at Belle Vernon. “The end result will be satisfying because the crowd will get rowdy.”
Pohlot’s dunking prowess has him in a national competition.
After two of his rim-rocking jams were featured on Hudl’s weekly “Top 5 Unbelievable Dunks” — on separate weeks — Pohlot gained some notoriety.
He received an email asking for a highlight video of him dunking, so he submitted one.
Before Pohlot knew it, he was a finalist for the American Family Insurance High School Slam Dunk Championship, a fan vote-fueled, four-week competition that pits high school dunkers head-to-head in brackets.
Sixteen players are featured in the “digital media” contest. There also is a 3-point challenge, but Pohlot is not involved in that.
The player with the most votes in each matchup will move on to the next round.
Voting for the four-round competition began Tuesday and concludes March 13.
Pohlot has brought Belle Vernon fans to their feet on several occasions. He and teammate Thomas Hepple both have provided fast-break slams, some sparked by open-court passes from sophomore standout Devin Whitlock.
“Personally, my dunks change the momentum of the game,” he said.
“I get the crowd rowdy, and I get excited. Especially since Belle Vernon has been without someone who could dunk for years now. I like to show this side of my game. It makes me a threat to opponents, in my opinion.”
The top vote-getter, or the last dunker standing, will advance to the American Family Insurance High School Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships held at the NCAA Final Four in Atlanta.
The event will air on CBS at 2:30 p.m. April 5.
First round — Now through 1 p.m. Tuesday (16 players)
Quarterfinals — 1 p.m. Wednesday through 1 p.m. Feb. 26 (eight players)
Semifinals — 1 p.m. Feb. 27 through 1 p.m. March 5 (four players)
Finals — 1 p.m. March 6 through 1 p.m. March 13 (two Players)
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
Tags: Belle Vernon
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