McEachern’s Jalen Hilliard wins slam-dunk contest

Credit: Stan Awtrey

Credit: Stan Awtrey

MACON — When Jalen Hilliard’s father, Tori, arrived to see him compete in the GHSA Slam Dunk Contest, he was greeted with these words, “Hey, Dad, I want to jump over you.”

So Tori Hilliard became part of one of the more dynamic dunks in the four-year history of the competition by sitting in a chair near the restricted area, tossing the ball in the air and allowing his 6-foot-5 son to leap over him, catch the ball and compete the slam. The dunk drew unanimous scores of 10s from the judges and gave the trophy to the senior from McEachern.

“I told him what I wanted to do and he said, OK,” Jalen Hilliard said. “That was the first time we’d done it.”

The dunk was enough to defeat Evan Montgomery of North Oconee, who had a friend bounce a ball off the glass that he caught and jammed.

Hilliard and Montgomery were impressive in the first round, too. Montgomery simultaneously dunked with his left and right hand, and Hilliard completed a reverse dunk after catching a self-bounced ball.

Robert Skaggs of Prince Avenue Christian and Caden Hinton of Trion were eliminated after the first round.

The dunk contestants were determined after submitting a video of their dunk. Fans voted to determine the four finalists.