Jordan is the glue that holds team together
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

Jan. 13, 2006 - The Sulphur Springs Lady Cats will meet tomorrow afternoon, but not for practice.

The varsity, JV and freshmen girls will get together for a meal and to go watch the movie "Glory Road," about Texas Western's NCAA championship run.

The idea for the get-together came from senior Whitney Jordan.

That was not a surprise to head coach Tina Carrillo, who has seen Jordan blossom on and off the court.

"Whitney's the type to say 'Hey, there's a movie playing and it's a basketball movie, so let's all go see it.' " Carrillo said. "She's really the glue that holds our team together. 

"She's the creative one, and she really likes to get the team together - she's very team-oriented. She's a great builder for team concepts."

Her attitude was invaluable this season as one of only three seniors on the team. Under a new coach, she was asked to change from being a post player to being a guard.

Jordan has excelled in the new role.

She helps break the other team's press, is expected to distribute the ball especially on entry passes into the post, and still must score from the outside. But, more than that, Carrillo said, Jordan has become a player the others look to for good decision-making.

She is second on team in scoring (5.4 points per game), third in rebounds (5.1), third in steals (1.8) and second in assists (2.3).

"Whitney is really our thinker on the floor. She wears a lot of hats. She's expected to know a lot of different positions because she's so versatile as a basketball player," Carrillo said. "I wish I had a couple of more years with her. I think we could really see her at her best, because I think her best basketball is ahead of her.

"This is her first year as a guard, and it's an amazing transition that she's made from being a post player."

Whitney, the daughter of Gordon and Lisa Jordan, said the position move in Carrillo's first year as head coach has enabled her to play facing the basket rather than with her back to the basket in the post.

"I have a lot more stuff to think about and do now. My main job is now to get the ball to Bridgette (Nash) in the post. I like being outside and I like to shoot. I dream of that outside shot, like Bridgette does," she laughed.

"I think the best thing I do is drive. I think that's why it's helped me to move outside so I can get the ball and beat someone off the dribble."

With her father being a basketball coach, Jordan has been in the gym since she was small, but she relishes the time with her teammates.

"I really like the team aspect of the game," Jordan said. "It's a team game, and you have to play together to be successful."

Both she and Carrillo believe Jordan can play college basketball, and they are looking for the right fit. While in college, Jordan wants to major in criminal justice.

Right now, though, she's more interested in locking up a playoff berth. The Lady Cats (8-14, 0-2) travel to Paris (13-11, 2-0) tonight for a pivotal game which will tip-off at 7:30  p.m.

"Playoffs are my main goal. I want it for everybody," Jordan said.

If that happens, it will extend the high school career of the 5-6 senior.

"I'm going to miss her next year," Carrillo said. "I hope that she can further her athletic career. 

"She's been a team player the whole way this year. She was very accepting of me and my philosophy, and she's done a great job for us this year."

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