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Defending champion Terrence Ross named to the NBA slam dunk competition

TORONTO - Toronto Raptors forward Terrence Ross will have a chance to defend his slam dunk title.

Ross was selected on Thursday to participate in the dunk competition at the NBA all-star weekend for a second straight time.

The 23-year-old won last year after defeating Utah's Jeremy Evans in the final round with 58 per cent of the fan votes.

Ross is averaging 10.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 25.6 minutes, while shooting .393 from three-point range. He scored a career-high 51 points against the Los Angeles Clippers last month, matching Vince Carter's franchise record set 14 years ago.

The NBA also announced Thursday that Toronto's DeMar DeRozan, who was recently named a reserve on the Eastern Conference team, will compete in the all-star weekend's skills challenge. He is the first Raptor to participate in the event.

This year's slam dunk competition features participants competing as a team, with three players representing each Conference in an above-the-rim two-round format — a freestyle round where dunkers have 90 seconds to showcase as many dunks as they want before a panel of judges, and the head-to-head battles that take place in the battle round.

The skills challenge features four teams of two players each competing in a two-round timed relay-style course with dribbling, passing and shooting stations.

Both events will take place on Feb. 15, with the all-star game scheduled for Feb. 16 in New Orleans.

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