By Jonathan Deal
It’s hard enough to guard Jordon Gandy, East Limestone’s sharp-shooting point guard with his feet on the floor. Once Gandy elevates for his jump shot, it’s nearly unstoppable.
The 6-foot, 3-inch Gandy averaged 20 points per game this season for the Indians and was recently named the Most Valuable Player in the Limestone County by the county’s six basketball coaches.
“He elevates so well on his shot,” said East Limestone head coach Chad Drake. “It’s unbelievable how much he elevates. When you’re 6-3 and you jump two feet off the ground to shoot a jump shot, you’ve got to be able to get up there to contend with him.”
Along with his 20 points per game this season, Gandy averaged 6.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists for the Indians this year. The gaudy numbers are nothing new for Gandy, who was named to the first team All-County last season, posting similar numbers. What makes Gandy so much better this year is something that can’t be found on a stat sheet, according to Drake.
“He’s not really a vocal guy, but he leads by his actions on the floor,” said Drake. Whenever he steps it up, it seems like everybody steps it up. There’s been several times this year that I’ve seen him do stuff that he hasn’t really done in previous years. If we need a big basket, and he’s determined to score, there’s not a whole lot of people around here that’s going to be able to stop him.”
That includes Tanner’s All-State guard Greg Maclin, who was given the assignment of guarding Gandy during the Limestone County Tournament. While Tanner came back in the final minute to secure a 59-54 win in the championship game, it didn’t stop Gandy from pouring in 25 points in a losing effort.
“He’s really good,” said Maclin, who is an AAU teammate of Gandy’s. “When I was guarding him when they came here, he wasn’t missing nothing. He was just outworking me that game, I guess.”
It’s not just Maclin that has noticed Gandy’s improvement during his junior season. Against the three-time defending 5A champions, Wenonah, in the regional semifinal at Wallace State, Gandy scored 25 points and caught the eye of the Dragons’ coach in the process.
“We just wanted to do a better job on No. 24 (Gandy). We really couldn’t contain him, but luckily nobody else got hot. He’s pretty good,” Wenonah head coach Cedric Lane said. “We were concerned about him. He’s one of the better shooters around here. He has a real good shot, a lot of elevation on his shot and he’s able to score from a lot of different places. He could be considered one of the better shooters in the area.”
Shooting comes natural for Gandy, but it hasn’t been without effort. The Biloxi, Miss., native said calf workouts helped develop the elite elevation seen now on his jump shot. An increased leg workout along with perfecting his shooting form has caused Gandy to rise above the rest of his peers.
And it’s not just basketball where opponents have to worry about Gandy. For the first time in several years, Gandy, during his senior season, will play football for the Indians.
But that’s five months in the future. Before football season, Gandy will run track and play for his AAU basketball team.
A busy schedule for the rising senior, but one Gandy is looking forward to before college — where he hopes to play D-1 basketball.
2013 All-County Basketball Team
Jordan Gandy - East
Greg MacLin – Tanner
Fred Rich – Tanner
Jace Haggermaker – Tanner
Nathaniel Adams – West
Blake Tucker - East
Tristian Matthews – East
Justin Smith – Tanner
Kyle Casteel – West
Caleb McConnell – West
Ben Hargrove – Ardmore
Coach of the Year
Honorable Mention: Robby Stevenson, Ardmore; Myles Noblitt, Ardmore; Seth Hamilton, Clements; Desmond Love, Tanner, Aaron McWilliams, West