GATE CITY, Va. (WJHL) — After securing the 2023 NBA Slam Dunk championship trophy during All-Star weekend, people who know Mac McClung said they saw this win coming.

“Everybody’s kind of in shock and surprised, but all of us, we’re really not,” said former teammate Drew Vermillion. “Just because we knew he’d do something like that.”

McClung’s former basketball coach, Scott Vermillion, now principal of Gate City High School, saw his hard work and determination foster after making his first dunk.

“The first time he dunked it, he dunked it one handed and by the next day he was dunking it two hands, backwards. Doing all kinds of crazy stuff,” said Scott Vermillion.

His teammates know this hard work on the court has led to this accomplishment.

“I’ve never seen someone put their mind to something like he does and work for it,” said Drew Vermillion. “So he deserves everything because he’s worked hard for it.”

No matter where he goes, though, he remembers his home and was excited about the idea to sell t-shirts and jerseys for the school.

“He puts on the Gate City jersey before the contest, that tells you how much he cares about where he came from and the heart that is behind Mac McClung, the heart that’s within him,” said Scott Vermillion. “It’s a very sincere heart.”

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – FEBRUARY 18: Mac McClung #9 of the Philadelphia 76ers dunks the ball during the final round of the 2023 NBA All Star AT&T Slam Dunk Contest at Vivint Arena on February 18, 2023 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

T-shirt and jersey sales can be found on any of Gate City High School Athletics’ social media platforms. T-shirts and jerseys are a replica of the jersey McClung wore during the dunk contest. All proceeds go to the school’s athletic program and basketball team.