The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News 2

April 10, 2014

Gandy right at home

Displaced by Hurricane Katrina, Gandy finds a home at East Limestone

— East Limestone fans have grown accustomed to watching Jordon Gandy light up the scoreboard in basketball and on the gridiron for the past four years. While it’s hard to imagine the senior in anything but East colors, it wasn’t always the case.

The two-sport all-state player isn’t from Alabama.

Gandy and his family moved to the East Limestone area after Hurricane Katrina battered their Biloxi, Miss. home in 2005. For all he has endured Gandy was awarded the Bryant-Jordan scholarship award this year for 5A Region 8.

“They told us to evacuate,” remembers Gandy about Katrina. “It wasn’t that bad since I was so young. I was old enough to understand what was going on. I got used to it.”

The family sought shelter at Jordon’s grandmother’s home in Madison. The Gandys were safe, but their home and Jordon’s school were beyond repair.

After months of waiting, Gandy enrolled at nearby Creekside Elementary..

“She didn’t want us to be out of school for that long,” said Gandy. “Ever since then, we’ve been up here. I thought it would be temporary, but we ended up staying here.”

Moving from the Mississippi Gulf Coast to North Alabama was quite a change for the then 9-year-old Gandy. He recalls adjusting to his new life in Limestone County.

“I wanted to go back at first,” said Gandy. “Once I got around and started meeting everybody, I felt better about it.”

Making friends was easy for the easy-going Gandy. It didn’t hurt that he immediately became one of the best athletes in the community.

“It was around basketball season and they all wanted to play,” he said. “I was one of the tallest ones, even back then.”

Since that day, Gandy has called the Capshaw community and East Limestone High School his home. As a freshman, he played for the Indians’ varsity football and basketball programs.

After playing safety and wide receiver as a freshman, Gandy decided to focus on one sport in hopes of landing a basketball scholarship. For the next two years, he lit up the scoreboard for East, averaging nearly 20 points per game.

As good as basketball was going, Gandy couldn’t pass up the opportunity to step on the gridiron one more season.

It paid off.

His performance earned Gandy a scholarship to play at Murray State University. He begins school Aug. 2 and will have an opportunity to walk on to the basketball program in the winter.

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