Donovan Jackson’s mourning the loss of his father

Feb 10, 2018; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones guard Donovan Jackson (4) goes to the basket as Oklahoma Sooners guard Jordan Shepherd (13) defends during the first half at James H. Hilton Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

AMES — It’s so much more than a game.

It’s a family at Iowa State — and that close-knit, on-court “brotherhood” is hurting deeply right now.

Cyclone senior guard Donovan Jackson’s father, Don, passed away over the weekend, Coach Steve Prohm said. Don Jackson was 52.

“Forget about the game,” Prohm said. “Probably some of you already know about Donovan’s father, he passed away late, probably, Saturday night, I found out. Cam Lard called me, so we went over there and I was with him until yesterday afternoon and now he’s back in Milwaukee now. So just talked to him. He’s with his family. First and foremost, before the basketball, our thoughts and prayers are with Donovan (and his family).”

Prohm said it’s up to Donovan whether he plays in Wednesday’s home game against TCU. He expects him to decide to suit up and compete in spite of his loss — but that’s entirely his decision, of course.

“Donovan needs to do what’s best for Donovan Jackson,” Prohm said. “If basketball helps (in) healing, then that’s great. If being with his family is what he needs to do, then that’s great, but if I had to go with my gut, I would assume him being here on Wednesday.”

Basketball can be a tonic in tough times — and losing a parent is one of the toughest.

“It just hits you in the face, because, man, Don was 52,” Prohm said. “Donovan’s a senior in college and he’s got his whole life in front of him.”


Prohm said point guard Nick Weiler-Babb is seeing a specialist in Dallas this afternoon. The goal: Find more answers with regard to the nagging left knee pain he’s been experiencing all season — and caused him to miss four games in a row before coming back for the last two.

“We’re just trying to find as many ways we can to figure out the root of his issue and help as best we can,” Prohm said. “We’re real supportive of him. Trying to get extra help and extra eyes on it to see if there’s anything else we can do to help him. … He’ll be back on campus tonight.”

Prohm said it’s possible it will be in Weiler-Babb’s best interests to sit out the rest of the season, but that’s a decision yet to be made.

“It’s up to Nick,” Prohm said. “If Nick wants to shut it down when he gets back, then we’ll do that, but it’s up to him.”

Prohm said forward Solomon Young’s knee may need to be rested the remainder of the season, as well. Young has been battling painful cartilage issues in recent weeks.

“Will sit him out today and he’ll see the doctor tonight,” Prohm said. “He probably needs to make a decision, too, because I think he’s in a lot of pain. These guys, they don’t need to do anything to put themselves in real jeopardy going forward.”


Rob Gray


Rob, an Ames native, joined Cyclone Fanatic in August, 2014 after nearly a decade and a half of working at Iowa's two largest newspapers. He spent 10 years at the Des Moines Register and, after a brief stint in public relations, joined the Cedar Rapids Gazette as an Iowa State correspondent three years ago. Rob specializes in feature stories for CF.