Donovan Jackson, Deonte Burton walk away winners at Hilton Madness

Crowd of 8,000-plus attends ISU basketball introduction event

Iowa State's Deonte Burton (30), pictured here dunking against the West Virginia last season, defended his Hilton Madness dunk-contest championship Friday. (Reese Strickland/USA TODAY Sports)
Iowa State's Deonte Burton (30), pictured here dunking against the West Virginia last season, defended his Hilton Madness dunk-contest championship Friday. (Reese Strickland/USA TODAY Sports)

AMES — Donovan Jackson had been to Hilton Coliseum before as a recruit, but hadn’t yet experienced the crowd directing its applause at him.

As the crowd gave Iowa State’s junior guard an ovation, he returned the favor by raining down a hefty percentage of his 3-pointers.

“It was great tonight,” Jackson said. “I love the energy in here.

“This is my first time ever shooting in here so just being in here and embracing it was a great feeling.”

Iowa State held its third Hilton Madness event Friday night as a season introduction for its men’s and women’s basketball teams. The teams competed in 3-point contests, a dunk contest and a mixed scrimmage.

Jackson walked away as one of the 3-point contest winners, beating senior point guard Monte Morris 25-18 — of a possible 30 points — in the men’s finals.

Sophomore guard Bridget Carleton won the women’s 3-point contest against senior forward Seanna Johnson before Jackson edged her 22-16 in the mixed competition. Jackson didn’t strike up any wagers against Carleton, but made an agreement with Morris about the penalty for whoever lost.

“Whoever lost had to buy dinner so he owes me dinner,” Jackson said. “I’m thinking about Old Chicago.”


Jackson is coming off a broken wrist he suffered last spring during his junior college season at Iowa Western, and has played both the point guard and shooting guard through Cyclones practices this fall.

“He got banged up a little in the fall, but he’s a competitive kid,” Iowa State Coach Steve Prohm said last week. “Very, very competitive. You’ve got to really hurt him to rip him off the floor. He’s been good. He’s quick and can really make shots.”

Prohm addressed the announced crowd of 8,822 before the event began, proclaiming guard Matt Thomas would win the 3-point contest and guard Nick Weiler-Babb would win the dunk contest. Senior forward Deonte Burton had a different idea.

“I knew in our coach’s heart that he knew I was going to win it,” Burton said.

Coming off a Hilton Madness dunk contest championship last season — he won on a dunk wearing Timberland boots — he wanted to stake his claim again. Weiler-Babb and Burton made the finals ahead of sit-out transfer Ray Kasongo and graduate transfer Merrill Holden, but neither could complete a dunk in the first run of the finals.

“The first time I missed on purpose because Babb missed so I just wanted to make it a little more fun, but the second time I just couldn’t make it,” Burton said with a smile. “I ended up getting a dunk I used to do when I first started dunking.

“I was excited to get (to Hilton Madness). There’s no feeling like being in Hilton.”

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