Published on February 16th, 2019 | by Landon Buford0
Dennis Smith Jr. Pays Homage to His Hops and His Hometown Trainer that Got Him There
The Bunny Pack Takes The Court
Dennis Smith Jr. can jump. One foot or two, off the dribble, finishing an oop or a putback, the guy flies once he takes off. Those hops will be on full display during Saturday Night’s Slam Dunk contest at 2019 NBA All-Star. On his feet, Dennis will be rocking an unmistakably loud UA Anatomix Spawn colorway called the Bunny Pack, featuring a bright pink upper and faux fur tongue. But the Bunny Pack doesn’t refer to Jr.’s hops only – it’s how he got them, and who helped him get there.
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Dennis Smith Jr. was always an explosive athlete, but it wasn’t until he met trainer Ja-Rell Bailey that he learned how to hone his gifts into something special. Ja-Rell and Dennis met while Dennis was a high school sophomore, a rising AAU star at the Smith Recreation Center. A bond over a commitment to relentless training brought them closer together, a bond that grew over time. “When I first saw Dennis play, it didn’t take me long to notice he was the springiest, bounciest and fastest player on the court,” said Bailey. “I knew he was something special.” When Ja-Rell’s father passed away, Dennis was right there by his side, in an immobilizing knee brace, having just suffered a devastating ACL tear less than two weeks prior. But Ja-Rell and Dennis were partners, and that showed as Ja-Rell continued to work with Dennis on his explosiveness, challenging him in workouts to get better and diversify his leaping ability, enabling him to go from two foot dunks to one footers with just as much power and precision.
The Bunny Pack Boys, as Ja-Rell referred to the two, since they could both hop over pretty much anything – were working towards a bigger goal, together. It was this specialized training regime – the Bunny Pack – that helped Dennis tie an NBA Combine record with a 48” vertical, something he continues to use today to utilize his –all-NBA leaping ability. And Ja-Rell realized the power of the program went beyond a world-class athlete and introduced the Bunny Pack training regimen to the world via his Instagram @instructor_hiit.
Now the Bunny Pack comes to life just in time for 2019 NBA All-Star Saturday night, highlighted by the custom pair of the UA Anatomix Spawn and a suite of Under Armour Bunny Pack product, including a hoodie, t-shirt, compression shirt and legging. Keep your eyes peeled to the sky to catch a glimpse of the Bunny Pack in action, because Dennis will be bringing them up and away.
The Dennis Smith Jr. Bunny Pack shoe will be available on Saturday, February 16 at 10 am ET in limited quantities at the UA Brand House at World Trade Center in New York (185 Greenwich St., Space Ll4302, New York, NY), and at the Armoury at Champs Sports in Carolina Place Mall just outside of Charlotte (11025 Carolina Pl Pkwy, Pineville, NC).
Fans can also purchase the shoe on Saturday, February 16 starting at 8 pm ET via the UA Shop app and UA.com.