With 13:40 left of a game Dayton firmly controlled against Rhode Island, Obi Toppin took a pass off a turnover and started a one-man fast break. The Flyers’ star then slammed his way onto timelines across the country, the latest highlight in a season full of them.
Maybe you didn’t see it, and if you not, have no fear. If you did see it, surely — with the exception of the Rhody faithful — you don’t mind rewinding it into eternity.
Highlight of the year? Perhaps, though there have been some others, especially at the mid-major level.
Most recent exclamation point on a National Player of the Year resume? We here on this website will certainly make that case.
However, you slice it, that dunk was simply awesome, and here are some of the reasons why:
- Let’s just start with court awareness and quick reflexes. Immediately upon receiving the ball and turning around, Toppin has Tyrese Martin barreling toward him. He’s able to secure the ball and position his body well enough to not lose possession and keep the breakaway going.
- Calm, part one. Toppin surely knows he’s one of the most explosive athletes in the country and that he’s got a packed arena with its breath held and eyes widening. Nonetheless, once Martin has been dealt with, he keeps naturally striding down the court to the promised land.
- The windmill. The full windmill. This wasn’t a quasi-, compromised geometrical action. There was no kind of, sort of, “that’s cool but only if” situation. Toppin went full windmill, and did so through a foul.
- The context and the narrative! That foul was committed by his brother, URI freshman forward Jacob Toppin. Obi had told the Dayton Daily News that Jacob had been talking, and that on the court they weren’t friends or brothers. While this wasn’t a “with no regard for human life” posterizing moment, Obi said he was going to put his brother on SportsCenter, and did just that.
- Calm, part two. Toppin didn’t go wild, he just strutted calmly on the baseline with low key high fives for the fans and, eventually, Ryan Mikesell. No need to tell them, when you’ve already showed them.
- Overall, it didn’t come in a game against a bottom feeder. While the game had largely been put to bed already, the highlight came against a good Rams team that could’ve made the A-10 regular season race very interesting with a win.
Toppin and the Dayton Highlight Factory next take the court Saturday at UMass.