COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The top-ranked basketball player in Columbus next year will not be playing on the men’s side of the ball.
But that doesn’t mean she couldn’t give the guys a run for their money.
Jordan Horston, a 6-1 senior guard at Africentric, is currently the eighth-ranked prospect in the country according to ESPN. After three dominating seasons, Horston will now play for the 2018 USA Basketball Women’s U17 World Cup team this summer.
“I first heard about the team my freshman year and thought I could see myself going out there for the experience,” she said. “My sophomore year I got a letter in the mail saying that I was invited and they’d fly me out to Colorado. They only invite about 30 girls and pay for everything, but just because they invite you doesn’t mean that you make the team.”
After returning to Colorado for a second year, just one year after helping the U16 team capture a gold medal in Argentina, Horston found out that she had once again made the team. Even though she said it was overwhelming and a pressure-filled experience, she proved that she belonged with the best and will now head to Belarus to play in the World Cup from July 21-29.
“After I made the team they sent us home, and then we head back July 4 before going to Belarus” she said. “I’m looking forward to playing overseas against international competition, and we also haven’t won a World Cup that last two years. If we win this, it’s going to be something big and it’s going to be a great accomplishment.”
The US team is definitely going to need help from Horston in order to win gold this year. In her three seasons at Africentric, Horston has scored 1,182 points, and has compiled 527 rebounds, 361 assists and 338 steals. Last year in her junior season, she averaged 18.1 points, six rebounds, five steals along with four and a half assists per game.
“I really like to pass the ball and get my teammates involved,” she said. “The best part of my game right now is probably my passing and defense. I like getting in the passing lanes and blocking shots, getting steals and locking up the best players.”
Oh yeah, and she led her team to a state championship last year, the second in her career.
“It’s my senior year so I’m most looking forward to getting back after it with the girls,” she said. “I just want to win another state championship. We lost to three good teams last year and we’ll get to play those same teams again this year, so I’m excited to play with my girls against those teams again."
Horston’s dominant play over her first three seasons has brought nearly every big-time Division I coach to her front door. Her All-Ohio Black AAU coach compared her to Penny Hardaway, and if she plays anywhere near the level he did in college one coach is going to be very happy that she decided to play for their university.
“Right now I have a final seven,” she informed 270 Hoops. “In no particular order those schools are Ohio State, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, UCLA, Louisville and UConn.”
She’s hoping that one of these schools can provide her with what she’s looking for, a winning-culture that’s family-oriented.
“I want to play with other girls that are good players who have the same mindset,” she said. “I also want a coach that knows how to push me and help me become a better player. I’m always just trying to work on everything, but I don’t want to be the same player in college I want to get better.”
If Horston can improve, she definitely has a shot to reach her ultimate goal, the WBNA, where she may get a chance to match up with two of her favorite players, Maya Moore and Kelsey Mitchell.
Of course, sometimes plans can change, which is why Horston wants to study to be an athletic trainer when she gets to college.
But, Horston has all of the intangibles to go far. She has the athleticism, which is shown by the fact that she was a cheerleader and played soccer, softball, tennis, volleyball and ran track. She’ll have the experience after playing in another World Cup. Finally, she’s a winner, as shown by her multiple state championships.
If you have the chance to watch her play in her final season, do it. Take advantage of this opportunity. There won’t be many times when you have a state-champion, gold-medalist athlete playing in your own backyard.