Backflipping CFL player from Winnipeg goes viral for dunking skills

A Winnipegger has gone viral for his impressive dunking skills, though he’s not a basketball player. 

Edmonton Elks wide receiver Shai Ross gained widespread attention after posting a video of himself dunking an Oreo cookie into a glass of milk in mid-air while doing a backflip — specifically, a round-off back tuck.

USA Today posted the video on Twitter on Thursday, and since then, Ross has experienced plenty of praise for the feat, with his phone was blowing up shortly after, he said. 

“I’m still taking it all in. I haven’t had that much time to digest it all. It’s exciting.”

Ross has an extensive gymnastics background, as three of his aunts are high-level gymnastics coaches. He said he grew up in gyms and all the kids in his family know how to do backflips, so the stunt took only 15 attempts before he nailed it.

“I was actually at the field training [in Winnipeg], just getting ready for the season, and one of these crazy ideas popped up in my head. And when I get these ideas, I usually just like to bring them to life right away. I want to create it and see what it’s going to look like, see what reactions I can get.” 

WATCH | Shai Ross’s Oreo dunk:

He may be the only Winnipegger who can beat LeBron James at a dunk competition. But instead of a basketball he’ll need an oreo and a glass of milk to pull it off. Shai Ross was born and raised in Winnipeg and is now a wide receiver for the Edmonton Elks. This video of him daintily dunking an Oreo in mid air while doing a flip — pinky raised and all — has gone viral. 1:40

Ross asked a friend to shoot the video and he was there within an hour. 

“I told him, you know, bring a cup, and I went over to Walmart and grabbed some milk and some cookies. And within an hour we had created this video.”

Ross was born and raised in Winnipeg and played football for the University of Manitoba Bisons before being drafted to the CFL’s Edmonton Elks in 2019.

The Oreo-dunking stunt was done in the field at his Winnipeg high school, Dakota Collegiate.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ross has had barely had any game time despite two years in the CFL, playing only five games before getting injured in his sixth.

“You can’t really focus on what you can’t control, so with the pandemic, you know, you just take it as it is,” he said.

“I’ve been focusing on the things that I can control, you know — staying fit, staying healthy, training hard, enjoying life, spending time with my daughter and family. And I’m really excited to get back to playing football.”

The video was posted in April, but only recently went viral.

Oreo has contacted him and wants to send him an Oreo package. He thinks it could become a partnership, but he’s waiting to for the phone to ring again.

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