STEPHENVILLE (April 2, 2015) — Tarleton State was in the limelight like rarely before Thursday evening, when senior forward Davene Carter won the Darkhorse Dunker dunk-off then placed third in the Denny’s NCAA College Slam.
Carter took a pass off the side of the backboard and landed a windmill slam in the dunk-off. Pitted against Antjuan Ball of West Texas A&M in the one-dunk playoff to determine who advanced to the College Slam, Carter received more than 20,000 Twitter votes and Ball just more than 10,000, according to analytics from Topsy.com.
Millions across America heard the name “Tarleton State University” for the first time when the dunk-off performances were shown on SportsCenter, then they heard it again – and again – as Carter advanced past the opening round of the College Slam with a flush right-handed windmill that drew rave reviews from ESPN broadcasters and the celebrity judges – past Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne, current Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton, WNBA player Katie Douglas and ESPN analyst Jay Williams.
An unsuccessful first attempt in the semifinals ultimately eliminated Carter, though he bounced back with a right-handed 360, wowing the Hinkle Fieldhouse crowd yet again on the campus of Butler University in Indianapolis.
Tarleton athletics communications director Nathan Bural attended the event and interviewed Carter following the College Slam.
“First off, I’d like to thank God, because without him none of this would be possible,” said Carter, according to Bural’s release on tarletonsports.com. “Secondly, I’d like to thank all the fans for all the support. Tarleton, I appreciate everything. I’m sorry I couldn’t bring home the (championship) belt, but I tried to do as much as I could to put y’all on the map before I left.”
Carter also helped keep Tarleton’s perennially strong men’s basketball team on the map before the end of the Division II season last week. He helped the Texans to their third regional championship and second final four appearance.
That’s the final four of 319 teams. And he’s the No. 3 dunker out of thousands – and thousands – of college basketball players.