Russell Westbrook has a chance to take on Dwight Howard in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest. One of three rookies will be selected by fans, and the Thunder guard has a strong case to be the man. Thing is, you won’t believe how long he’s been dunking. Jenni Carlson: Let’s start at the beginning — when did you start playing basketball? Russell Westbrook: When I was about 7. Pretty much I was playing all the sports at the same time. Baseball. Football. Basketball. Even a little tennis. JC: Your favorite? RW: Football was my favorite. That was the one I was good at. I was good at basketball and baseball, too, but I was real good at football. A lot of people I see today think I play football still. JC: What positions did you play? RW: See, I was short, so I was playing running back and linebacker. That was before I got my growth spurt. JC: When did that happen? RW: In high school. When I was a junior going into my senior year. I was always short, like 5-9. JC: True or false — you couldn’t dunk until your senior year. RW: Uh huh. JC: When did you finally dunk? RW: The middle of my senior year in a game against my rival high school. JC: Had you dunked in practice? RW: I always missed. I used to always hit the back of the rim. I could barely dunk. It wasn’t no high dunk. I could do a one-hand dunk, and that was it. That’s where it stopped. JC: How’d it feel to get that first one? RW: After that, I knew I could make every one. It was packed at home. Got a fastbreak and decided to dunk. Decided to go up and try to dunk it at least. JC: So, you’re still in your infancy as a dunker? RW: Kinda sorta. JC: Now, you might be in the NBA Dunk Contest. Do you go home every day and vote for yourself? RW: I can’t do it. I don’t know how to do it. You’ve got to have a sign-in or something. I don’t have one of those. JC: You need to figure that out. RW: I’ve got people at home voting for me. JC: Now, I watched your Sprite promotional spot for the dunk contest. You played trumpet. Got to tell you, you’re not much of a trumpet player. RW: They had me doing some crazy stuff. Some of the stuff I did wasn’t even on there. I was singing on one. I was rapping on another one. JC: Are you a better singer than trumpet player? RW: Maybe. JC: Better rapper? RW: Yeah, yeah. They didn’t want to put that up there. It was too good to be up there. That’s for after the dunk contest. JC: Working on any dunks yet? RW: I ain’t workin’ on nothing until I know I’m in it. No need to stress. Want to know Russell Westbrook’s favorite dunks of all time? Check out my blog at NewsOK.com.