Lakers center Dwight Howard will reportedly participate in the NBA’s slam dunk contest for the first time since 2009.

Howard revealed that he wasn’t actually asked to be in the dunk contest; it was the other way around. He had the idea to return to the contest and reached out to Michael Levine, vice president of entertainment and player marketing for the NBA, to gauge the league’s interest.

“I reached out myself and told them I wanted to be in it, so it was like, ‘Oh, really?’ I was like, ‘Yeah,'”. “So here it is. I think I’m the oldest dunker in the dunk contest ever.”

Howard said.

“I just felt like I’m in the best shape I’ve been in my whole career,”. “So why not go out there and give it, give it 135 percent, and see what happens?”

“Now that I’m competing against some way younger guys, I have to find a way to really make the dunk contest fun for the fans and really entertaining,”

Howard said