Mac McClung and Scoot Henderson capitalized on their big break when they were invited to participate in the NBA’s annual All-Star Weekend, taking place in Salt Lake City Utah.

At the beginning of the season, when Mac McClung and Scoot Henderson decided to document their seasons on “The Break presented by The General,” no one knew where this year would take them or what they might accomplish. 

The NBA’s All-Star Weekend is a series of events typically reserved for the premier talents of the NBA. With the G League continuing to grow in popularity and talent, the league searched for ways to engrain some of the game’s “Rising Stars” into the weekend festivities. This expansion resulted in both Scoot and Mac headlining the weekend’s top competitions and turning heads as they put on a show. 

Scoot Henderson:

As a projected first-round pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, most fans are already familiar with the name Scoot Henderson. But after battling injuries during the first half of the season, this weekend was a prime opportunity for Scoot to remind top NBA executives that he is the real deal. 

On Friday, February 17, Scoot took the floor for the three-game “Rising Stars” tournament alongside selected top G League talents, including Mac McClung and other Ignite teammates. The G League-based team was coached and named after NBA legend and former All-Star, Jason Terry. Scoot and Team Jason dropped their first game of the tournament, but this wouldn’t be the last chance for Scoot to participate in a showcase game throughout the weekend. 

Scoot was additionally named one of the captains of the G League “Next Up Game,” an exhibition taking place on February 19 between some of the best players across the G League.  Alongside fellow captain and Iowa Wolves center Luke Garza, Scoot was given the responsibility of drafting his team. The players he was able to draft were voted into the game by G League fans and players. Scoot showed some loyalty as he drafted some of the top G League talents to “Team Scoot” when he chose six of his Ignite teammates to compete alongside him against Team Luka. 

Scoot put on quite the show as team captain: 

And he finished the game with a bang by throwing down a powerful between-the-legs dunk that got everyone on their feet: 

Team Luka would end up winning the offensive showdown with a final score of 178-162, but Scoot and the rest of his team certainly caught the attention of both fans and NBA executives in attendance. 

Mac McClung: 

Mac McClung was a heavily recruited phenom out of high school and quickly attracted the attention of coaches and fans with his dynamic dunks that consistently reached viral status on social media. After brief call-ups to the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors, Mac fell off the radar for many fans. 

After participating in the “Rising Stars” tournament on Friday, Mac was set to participate in the main event — the Slam Dunk Contest — becoming the first G League player to ever partake. Shortly before, he was called up to the NBA as a two-way member of the Philadelphia 76ers. Then, on Saturday night, he capitalized on his big break and put the world on notice. 

Mac was set to go against Trey Murphy III, Jericho Sims, and Kenyon Martin Jr. Each player would get four total dunk scores over two rounds. With his first two dunks of the night, Mac immediately showed he was ready to put up a historic performance with a perfect score of 50 and 49.8. 

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – FEBRUARY 18: (Dunk sequence 3 of 4) Mac McClung #9 of the Philadelphia 76ers dunks the ball during the AT&T Slam Dunk Contest as part of 2023 NBA All-Star Weekend on Saturday, February 18, 2023, at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Landing the best scores of the night thus far, Mac advanced to the final round to compete against Trey Murphy III. Murphy put up a valiant performance, but Mac’s final two dunks of the last round, brought him to three perfect scores for the event, leaving all of the NBA Stars in attendance in awe of what they had just witnessed. 

After a show-stopping performance, in a competition that many thought had lost its competitive edge in recent years, NBA legend and announcer Reggie Miller claimed that “Mac McClung had saved the dunk contest.” In the following days, Mac signed an official sneaker deal and increased his Instagram followers by over 250,000. He also matched his total career earnings from his prize money earned as the 2023 Slam Dunk Champion.

Mac had this to say following the dunk contest: “I’m super grateful for this opportunity, and I think a lot of the guys in the G League deserve this light that I just got. I’m appreciative and I hope I represented them well.” 

What’s Next? 

Mac is set to play his first game with the 76ers when the NBA returns this week, and Scoot will prepare for the rest of the season with The G League Ignite. Stay tuned for the next episode of “The Break, presented by The General” which is set to debut on March 1 and provides an inside look at both players’ weekends in Salt Lake. In the meantime, you can check out the previous episodes of “The Break” on the G League’s YouTube channel.  

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