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Dunk King Zach LaVine Drops In on Kirby Buckets


Over the past two years, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine has become the focal point of the NBA Slam Dunk contest. The 21 year old’s flashy and dynamic dunks (from the between-the-legs slam to the free-throw line windmill) have resulted in nearly perfect scores, earning him back-to-back championships and the role one of the best performers of All-Star weekend.

Now, LaVine is set to entertain again – this time as a guest star on the Disney XD show Kirby Buckets.

LaVine will play himself on an episode that will air Wednesday March 16, at 8 pm ET.  In the episode, Kirby gets in touch with his uncle, who his mom has forbid him to talk to, only to end up shooting hoops with LaVine. SI Kids spoke with the high flier about his role as a guest star and what he most enjoys about performing on set and on the court. 

Can you tell me a little bit about the episode and what exactly your role is?

I’m just playing myself. I’m coming in to shoot around with Kirby. He crosses me up and we chitchat back and forth a little bit. 

Did you have any acting experience prior to appearing on Kirby Buckets?

This will be my first time on a TV show. I don’t have any prior acting experience, but I’m not camera shy. I actually modeled when I was younger. I’ve become pretty good being thrown into situations where I’m in front of a lot of people. Interviews have helped with that, so I’m used to being in front of a camera.

What was it like being on set for the first time?

It was pretty cool. It wasn’t that hard, it was mellow, and it was nice doing something different. I enjoyed it. It was a few of us on set, and then the director and staff. There were some kids in the background, but they were just posing as students in the school. We talked for a little bit and then just jumped right into the scene.

How much preparation did this require compared to your dunk contest prep?

Not as much preparation. I wasn’t as confident in myself as I was for the dunk contest. I went over my lines and went out there and did the best I could. 


How did being around the young cast remind you of your own young team? 

Being around a young cast, you are able to see how much they want to succeed and they work really hard to make sure they deliver the best performance. In that sense, it reminds me of our team. We're working really hard, too.

What did you enjoy most about performing on a TV show? 

Just interacting with the actors and crew. It isn't easy what they do, and I appreciate all of the hard work that goes into making a TV show. 

How have your views on performing changed the more you’ve been in front of big crowds? Do you look forward to it more now?

I've never been shy to be in front of crowds. I grew up playing sports and fans were always in attendance, so now it's just bigger crowds!

Any more future plans to perform or model off of the court?

If I get another call, I’ll be there. Hopefully I’ll have more opportunities in the future. It’s a lot of fun, so I hope I get another chance at it. 

Photos: Disney XD/Ron Tom