I’ve never done that before,” said the French youngster about his razzle-dazzle dunk that brought a packed crowd to its feet.
Earlier, Spain’s Lucia Togores Carpintero won gold in the women’s shootout contest.
“This is so great,” she said. “I never expected to win. There are people on my team who are better shooters that I am.”
The skills contests were new to the Youth Olympic Games programme and based on the enthusiasm of both the athletes and the crowd, they could well be here to stay.
Slovenia won two silver medals, with Ziga Lah delivering a couple of dunks that had the athletes and crowd cheering his efforts, while Ela Micunovic’s sharpshooting earned her a spot on the podium.
“This is a first for my country, for the Youth Games,” Lah said.
Micunovic added: “I knew I’d won something when I finished shooting, but I didn’t know which [medal] until the other girls were finished. This is incredible.”
Fu Lei (CHN) won bronze in the dunk contest, while Katie Lou Samuelson (USA) took the bronze in the shooting contest.
The women took the court first, with 61 athletes trying 10 shots in a span of 33 seconds from the top of the arc. The top shooter in the preliminary round was Esther Fokke (NED), who nailed eight of 10 shots.
Gold medallist Lucia Togores Carpintero
The field was narrowed for later rounds, with Togores Carpintero pleased to get a hot hand at the right time. “It was a surprise,” she said.
The stadium was jam-packed when the 21 men lined up for the dunk contest. The field was narrowed to four athletes and each had chances to impress the judges, who marked them on technique and creativity.
Lah set the stage early when he leapt above two crouched-over audience members he had randomly picked and nailed a breath-taking dunk.
But Mouliom, who donned blue sunglasses to match his French uniform, saved his best for last. When he leapt over the three female Hungarian players and jammed the basketball into the net, the title was his, hands down.
“He is very good,” said Lah. “I didn’t have any more ideas. But it feels great to win a medal.”