There are at least two things Dominique Wilkins knows more about than most people.
Dunking is the first one. Wilkins earned the nickname “Human Highlight Film” for his ferocious and flashy rim rattlers over a 14-year pro basketball career. It’s one of the reasons he was Wheeling High School in Marietta on Sunday, March 26, to judge the dunk contest at the second annual Underclassmen All-American Game.
The second topic Wilkins is greatly informed on is diabetes. His father and grandfather both had Type One, and the former Atlanta Hawk star is a Type Two diabetic.
Wilkins has been working with Novo Nordisk and Victoza to spread awareness about the disease and to encourage younger folks to exercise often and watch their diet to prevent diabetes. At halftime of the games at Wheeler, Wilkins took some time to talk to the players about proper nutrition and health.
“I’m trying to tell these kids, you have to have physical activity and eat the best that you can now, so you don’t have these problems later in life,” said Wilkins, who is now the Vice President of Basketball for the Atlanta Hawks. “You want to have some preventive measures, so you don’t have to go through the things that your parents or grandparents went through.”
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Wilkins was a nine-time all-star, finished in the top five of MVP voting three times, was a scoring champ in 1986 and won the NBA’s dunk contest twice. He is a Hall of Famer, and many consider him to be the best in-game dunker of all-time.
As a player, Wilkins never worried about his health too much. If he could still run, dribble, shoot and jump, he figured he was okay.
But in 2000 he found himself in a doctor’s office after a routine check-up.