Frank Jackson’s Lone Peak squad isn’t at the DICK’S Nationals tournament (Wasatch represented Utah in 2016 instead), but the Duke signee made sure that his week at the McDonald’s All-American Game more than made up for it.
As noted by his future school, Jackson became just the fifth player in McDonald’s All-American Game history to win both the Slam Dunk Contest and game MVP honors in the same week. He’s also the first Duke player to accomplish the feat, as well as the fifth Duke signee to earn MVP honors in the game (technically, Jackson shared MVP honors with uncommitted star prospect Josh Jackson), following Bobby Hurley (1989), J.J. Redick (2002), Josh McRoberts (2005) and Jahlil Okafor (2014).
As for the athletes who have previously captured both honors, their success has been a bit more mixed that that of Jackson’s Duke predecessors. Jerry Stackhouse captured both in 1993 before winning a national title at North Carolina and embarking on a lengthy NBA career. In 1998, Ronald Curry won both contests and headed to North Carolina, where he also played football and eventually spent seven years in the NFL. LeBron James was the next player to capture both honors before … well, you know what LeBron’s been up to. In 2012, Shabazz Muhammad was handed both honors, then spent a season at UCLA and the three most recent seasons in the NBA with the Minnesota Timberwolves (and D-League Iowa Energy).
If Jackson can wind up more like James or Stackhouse he’ll be a long-term success on the court. That’s not to say that Muhammad or Curry haven’t been successful, they just haven’t quite lived up to the immense basketball expectations that come with winning the McDonald’s All-American Game MVP, let alone that and the Dunk Contest. Now it’s Jackson’s turn to take his own chance at living up to the unique double.
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