HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – The Rockets were left out in the cold when it came to picking the NBA All-Star team.  But Chase Budinger will get a chance to represent Red Nation at the NBA slam dunk contest on February 25th.

The Rockets third year forward is one of four contestants in the dunk contest which will be held in Orlando the night before the 2012 All-Star game.  He will be competing against Minnesota’s Derrick Williams, New York’s Iman Shumpert and the Pacers’ Paul George.  Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin will not compete in the dunk contest, but he has been invited to “assist” Shumpert.

Budinger is no stranger to dunk contests.  As a high schooler in California, he was part of the 2006 McDonald’s All-American Slam Dunk Contest.  The skinny 17 year old from Carlsbad, California brought the crowd to its feet with a baseline behind-the-back reverse slam in the final round. 

The dunk earned him a spot as runner-up to  Gerald Henderson, Jr., who now plays for the Bobcats. Henderson’s father, Gerald Sr., briefly played for the Rockets in the 1991-92 season.


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