Iman Shumpert Wins “Dancing With The Stars”

Iman Shumpert
Former NBA player Iman Shumpert with his partner Daniella Karagach.Eric McCandless / ABC via Getty Images

On the Monday night season finale of “Dancing With The Stars,” the mirror ball trophy was awarded to none other than former NBA star, Iman Shumpert and his dancing partner Daniella Karagach.

Dribbling to Dancing

Shumpert was first announced as a contestant back in September. As he continues to get back in the NBA after only playing in two games last season with the Nets, Shumpert decided to take the challenge from the basketball court to the ballroom. In his interview with “Sports Illustrated,” Shumpert describes how therapeutic being on the show has been for him.

Iman’s Journey on Dancing With The Stars

Shumpert started the season off rocky. His first night of dancing, he scored 21 out of 40 possible points, one of the lowest of the night. Many believe the judges were robbing Shumpert of scores the first couple of weeks. But week after week, despite low judges scores, fans’ votes continued to push Iman closer to the finale. Never once was he in the bottom two of the competition.

Iman’s breakthrough performance was on Week 6 for “Horror Nights.” He and his partner performed a contemporary dance with the horror movie “Us” as their inspiration. The dance quickly went viral, with Shumpert and Karagach also receiving the highest scores of the night, with four 10s. It is considered one of the greatest dances to be ever performed in the history of the show. 

From then on, Shumpert went from the underdog to the fan-favorite. Karagach began using Iman’s staggering height to their advantage with new choreography from lifts to flips. He began improving each week. Fans and judges alike began noticing, as he proved to viewers that he can compete in the finale.

As Shumpert continued on to the finale, he secured the mirror ball trophy with his Freestyle dance. He receieved a perfect score from the judges. Iman competed against a fan favorite to win, YouTube personality JoJo Siwa and, Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby, who placed second and third respectively. 

Iman Shumpert became the first former NBA player to not only make it to the finale, but to win in “Dancing With The Stars” 30-season history.

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